India eye complete whitewash against England

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Published: Saturday, October 29, 2011, 15:45 [IST]
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England playing for pride

Kolkata, Oct 29: After winning the series 5-0 M S Dhoni's men are on a high. The revenge is not complete, as the Men in Blue are preparing for a complete white-wash to make the series more memorable after their disastrous stint at England. Team India is up against the depleted English team for a Twenty20 encounter on Saturday, Oct 29 at Eden Gardens in Kolkata.

Though skipper Dhoni doesn't accept the view that it is a revenge series, the Indians are on a mission to prove critics wrong. On the other hand, the English team are looking forward to finish the series with at least a win.

The Indian team will miss Delhi opener and newly-wed Gautam Gambhir. Karnataka's stylish batsman and Twenty20 specialist Robin Uttappa gets another opportunity to impress the selectors. Middle-order batsman and all-rounder Yusuf Pathan is also back. While Robin has been in great form after the recently concluded Syed Mushtaq Ali T-20 tournament with scores of 0, 10, 59, 64, 92 and an aggregate of 45, which helped the selectors pick him due to Gambhir's absence. Pathan, has shown how dangerous he can be both with the bat and the ball during the recently concluded Champions League T20.

The inclusion of these two cricketers will add strength to the already strong batting line-up and also help the captain with the option of using another spinner in Yusuf Pathan. With great performances from Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin, Yusuf's presence will definitely add more value to the bowling department.

The selectors have a tough task ahead of choosing the playing eleven with the likes of Rahul Sharma also available for selection. Besides, the last game has proved that both Suresh Raina and Manoj Tiwary can shoulder some bowling responsibility.

The trio of Robin Uthappa, R Vinay Kumar and S Aravind, reminds one of the days when there were more than five players from Karnataka in the national side.

The last game of the current tour is scheduled to start at 18.30. Since it is starting late in the evening, dew factor plays a vital role. The renovated stadium welcomes the team yet again for another exciting encounter. Eden Gardens, aptly named Bowlers' paradise, is expected to assist spinners. The last few matches on this track suggest that it is truly a spinner friendly track.

The English team's inability to tackle spin has increased its woes. The fifth one-day international against India at Kolkata exposed the English team's weakness - the team lost 10 wickets for a mere 47 runs.  Kevin Pietersen, who was left out for the fifth one day international following a fractured thumb, attended the practice sessions and that has given the stand-in skipper Greame Swann a reason to smile. Though his selection chances appears to be slim, all depends on the fitness test and the final call will be taken before the match starts.

Due to the absence of key players, Greame Swann is shouldering the responsibility of leading the side for this crucial encounter. Though records suggest that England are the best T-20 side at the moment and are the defending champions, the current form suggests that India might have an upper hand due to their recent triumph over England in the One day Internationals.


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