Preview: Dhoni the focus in Ranchi's ODI debut

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Updated: Friday, January 18, 2013, 12:58 [IST]
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Ranchi, Jan 18: Saturday's One Day International is between India and England but the spotlight will be firmly only on one man - MS Dhoni. It will be a big day in Ranchi on a Super Saturday, January 19 as homeboy Dhoni leads India on his home turf at the brand new JSCA International Stadium.

This will be the first ever international cricket game at JSCA stadium. With both teams already in Ranchi, the excitement is palpable. The locals are rooting for their favourite son Dhoni. Never before has he played for India in his home city. And Saturday marks a special day in the wicketkeeper's career.

Preview: Dhoni the focus in Ranchi

"It will be special to play in Ranchi," said Dhoni after the second ODI in Kochi last week. Indeed it is a "speical" match for India skipper. Many fans and his Jharkhand Ranji Trophy team-mates are hoping that the right-hander can delight the crowd with a century.

With all the attention on Dhoni, Team India should not lose focus of the game. It is a crucial one for both teams with the five-match series tied 1-1. It is hard to say with who the momentum is. But India will be in a confident mood after that huge 127-run success in Kochi.

Yet again, it could be runs at this new venue. Win toss and bat first could be the mantra. Once the team bats and posts a tall score, half the job is done. Both games so far have gone in favour of the team batting first.

Though nobody knows how the new wicket will behave, many are of the opinion that it will assist batsmen.

For India, there are still concerns over Gautam Gambhir's form. Whether the team management will persist with him or hand Cheteshwar Pujara debut is still not known. It is time for Pujara to get the nod instead of the struggling left-hander. Pujara is capable of opening the batting.

In Kochi, Ravindra Jadeja's all-round abilities were on view. He was superb with both bat and ball. With him being high on confidence, team will certainly look forward to a repeat from him.

England batsmen will be hoping to prove that Kochi disaster was one off. After a bright start in Rajkot, their batsmen failed against the turning ball. Kochi pitch did offer turn under lights.

The visitors will also be worried over their death bowling where more than 100 runs were leaked in the final 10 overs. After a rousing start, Dhoni and Jadeja plundered plenty in the closing stages.

The third ODI will be more of Dhoni's show in Ranchi. Will the skipper deliver a big batting performance and also take the team to a win?


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 S Ravi

Third umpire: Vineet Kulkarni

Match Referee: Andy Pycroft (Zimbabwe)

Match starts at 12 noon IST


Story first published:  Friday, January 18, 2013, 12:56 [IST]
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