India look to seal series in Mohali
Mohali October 20:
The third ODI of the India-England series on Thursday will decide whether England have it in them to make any impression in the five-match series.
Having tasted defeat in the first two ODIs at the hands of a team which did not look half the worth of its salt in England recently, the visitors have to stem the tide or else the series will die an untimely competitive death. India, after two comprehensive wins, look completely at home and all set to inflict the decisive blow at the PCA Stadium. The batting blues seem to be a thing of the past. Surprisingly, the bowling too looks superior when compared to England.
The seamers are on top of their game and spinners raring to go. India has given a much better show in the fielding department too than their counterparts. If mastering the conditions is the name of the game, Indians have a big edge. England, on their part, have looked out of sorts. Could this be their chance to get back on track? A wicket that is seamer-friendly and has plenty of runs in it as well. England batsmen can pull it off, they just need to go the extra mile.
"We know we have been outplayed in the two matches so far but we have the belief that we can win the next three matches from here on," said English pacer Steve Finn on the eve of the match. On Wednesday, the net practice too presented the contrasting tale of the two teams. While Indian batsmen concentrated intently on getting the flaws rectified with coach Duncan Fletcher taking time out with batsmen individually, England focused on spinners as bowling coach Mushtaq Ahmed tried to get the line and length right of Swann and company. But before that the team had a long meeting addressed by coach Andy Flower on the sidelines.
The greenish tinge on the Mohali wicket, not a strange sight, suggests it will be seamers who may hold the centrestage. If that happens, India may have the advantage as its pacers look completely settled. The only thing that they need to factor in is the dew. Meanwhile, Praveen Kumar and Gautam Gambhir were not present at the nets but are likely to play.