Kochi, Jan 14: India will be aiming to bounce back in the second One Day International against England here on Tuesday. Trailing 0-1, MS Dhoni and his men need to quickly turn it around in this day/nighter or else the tourists might run away with the five-match series with yet another win.
In the opening Rajkot ODI, India came agonisingly close to chasing down 326, but fell short by 9 runs. It was their batting which let them down in pursuit of a big target.
Dhoni's dismissal in Rajkot turned the match for England. He too conceded that if he had stayed for few more overs, the match would have been in India's bag.
India captain, being the best batsman in recent times, needs to bat high up the order. He is batting at number six and it would be better if he takes strike at positions four or five. That is the only way he can get to face more overs and it will be the best in team's interest.
With Virat Kohli not in the best of form at number three, it is wise to push the youngster down to rediscover his touch. There is also a case for Cheteshwar Pujara to be handed ODI debut in place of one of the struggling batsmen. The team management might also think of giving Kohli rest and bringing in Pujara.
India's another worry is death bowling. Ishant Sharma went for plenty in Rajkot and in the final 2 overs, India were plundered for 38 runs. Dhoni admitted this proved costly.
The Jawarharlal Nehru Stadium pitch in Kochi promises to assist batsmen. Yet another high-scoring game is expected on Tuesday.
England will be confident after their win in Rajkot. Their opening combination of captain Alastair Cook and Ian Bell gave the team a solid platform from where they exploded in the final overs to score 325.
Offspinner James Tredwell was outstanding with figures of 4/44 in 10 overs when rest of the bowlers suffered on a placid Rajkot track. India batsmen will be devising a plan to attack Tredwell from the start and not allow him to settle. This is the only way they can upset the 30-year-old.
In comparison to Tredwell, India offspinner R Ashwin struggled. The tall slow bowler's form in recent times is not good. India need to think of playing legspinner Amit Mishra in Ashwin's place.
It is a crucial game for India and they cannot afford to slip again.
India: MS Dhoni (captain and wicketkeeper), Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashok Dinda, Shami Ahmed.
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Joe Root, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Craig Kieswetter (wicketkeeper), Stuart Meakar, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Kevin Pietersen, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes.
Umpires: Steve Davis (Australia) and Vineet Kulkarni
Third umpire: Sudhir Asnani
Match Referee: Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe)
Match starts at 12 noon IST