Preview: India looks to clinch series at Barabati
Cuttack : A flamboyant Indian team that have converted chasing down incredible targets into an art form are once again ready to show their ruthless streak as they aim for a series clinching victory against England in the second ODI match at the Barabati StadiumThursday.
With ‘Chase Master’ Virat Kohli playing one magical knock after other, knocking off 300 plus scores has been like a walk in the park with the skipper himself smashing 17 tons at a staggering average of 97 plus in those matches.
And with India’s penchant of producing quality batsmen, it was Kedar Jadhav, who matched his skipper stroke for stroke during his 65-ball-hundred. India now are the only team to have chased 350-plus scores thrice and in each of them Kohli has been the backbone with centuries each but Jadhav’s innings caught English skipper Eoin Morgan off-guard.
India have a good record at the Barabati Stadium, where they have won 11 out of their 15 ODIs. While the Indian bowling was taken to task by the England batsmen on a Pune belter, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh’s failures with the bat were the only blot in their victory.
Another person who needs to worry is Delhi left-hander Shikhar Dhawan as Ajinkya Rahane after his 83-ball 91 in the second warm-up match is breathing down his neck. With Rohit Sharma waiting to come back from injury and Rishabh Pant waiting to break open the door, time is running out for Dhawan.
Ravichandran Ashwin didn’t have a great match at Pune, but the champion bowler that he is, Kohli and coach Anil Kumble knows that he will be back anytime. They have a back-up spinner in Amit Mishra. England would need something extraordinary to recover from the body blows as they have to win the remaining two matches which would require quite a feat.
Back to lead the side after pulling out from the Bangladesh series, English limited overs skipper Eoin Morgan will be under pressure to transform their bowling unit which performed abysmally in Pune. Barring Chris Woakes and David Willey’s twin breakthroughs early on, English attack lacked intensity and were wayward bowling too many extras. The English bowling is still struggling to find a way to stop Kohli. If England’s batting looks full of firepower, it’s their bowling that has been struggling in the past something they would look to make amends.