Team India Look For Clean Sweep Against A Hapless English Team

Team India has gotten over the Test series hangover as the ODI series is in the pocket with a thumping 3-0 lead against the English.

Team India has gotten over the Test series hangover as the ODI series is in the pocket with a thumping 3-0 lead against the English.

But that’s not enough for MS Dhoni and his men as a rampaging Team India will look to keep the momentum going and press for a clean sweep when they take on England in the fifth and final ODI on Friday.

In what could be termed as a ‘topsy turvy’ turnaround following their humiliation in the Test series, the Men In Blue have bullied their opponents in the ODI series, in which England have struggled to match the visitors in the batting, bowling or fielding departments.

Rewind to circa 1990 when the last time, India won a bilateral ODI series win in England, when they took the Texaco Trophy 2-0.

Now, here’s a chance for Dhoni and India to bludgeon the English party in the final game.

The new vibe and upbeat within the Indian team can be credited to the new team director – Ravi Shastri. Ever since his appointment, the former skipper has brought urgency and freshness amongst the talented youngsters. The likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane who were struggling for runs in the Tests, have returned to form within a single game.

England has problems of their own. Nothing is going right for Alastair Cook and the team management. Their debutant opener Alex Hales has been found out already against the in-swinging delivery from Bhuvneshwar Kumar while key player Ian Bell is unavailable for this last game due to a toe injury that also kept him out of the Edgbaston game.

Gary Ballance has done well in Test series but doubts persist over his ability to perform in limited-overs cricket. The top order could mount any sort of pressure against the Indian bowling attack and was found wanting against the formidable spinners. Here’s an amazing stat that could send alarm bells ringing in the English dressing room – England had lost 8 wickets before the last 15 overs began in Cardiff, 5 wickets in Nottingham and then another 5 wickets in Birmingham.

On contrast, the Indian team has clicked in every department. If there is one big positive to come out of this series for the line-up, then it is in the new-found opening pairing of Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan who have returned back to form and giving a huge sigh of relief to MS Dhoni.

The final ODI could see a new look Indian side take the field with the likes of Karn Sharma and Sanju Samson getting call-ups.

Ambati Rayudu has done well in the limited opportunities afforded but needs to be consistent with the performances especially Australia and New Zealand in mind.

Pacer Umesh Yadav might get the nod after a sensational show Down Under recently in a quadrangular series for India A.

Even with a new team in sight, India remain heavy favourites to win the final ODI with the England side still lacking that extra bit of ‘quality’ required for the 50-over game.

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