Hyderabad: India will aim to bury the ghosts of their humiliating English summer when they take on a confident England side in the first of what is being touted as a revenge five-match ODI cricket series starting here on Friday.
It’s redemption time for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men as they will be itching to settle scores having failed to secure a single victory in international matches in England, having lost four Tests, three ODIs and one Twenty20 International during their recent tour.
His counterpart Alastair Cook will certainly hope that his side can carry on from where they left in the last series although they would be missing the services of the formidable new ball duo of James Anderson and Stuart Broad.
This will be the first series where the new ICC rule of using separate new balls from both ends will be implemented along with changed Powerplay rules.
New ICC ODI rules are a bit tricky, says Dhoni
Dhoni termed the new rules for ODIs set by the ICC as “tricky” and said that getting reverse swing could be a problem as two new balls will be in use from both ends.
According to the new ICC rules, there would be two new balls used from the two ends while batting and bowling powerplays needs to be taken within the 16th and the 40th over.
“It’s a bit tricky as we have not yet played any match under this new powerplay. It would certainly need a different approach as the second and third powerplay will now be taken within the 16th and the 40th over.
“Earlier while chasing, teams would be happy to keep the batting powerplay for the last five overs. But now we have to make few changes in tactics. It will be giving different results till we get used to it,” the Indian captain said on the eve of their opening encounter of the five-match ODI series against England.
The skipper also seemed worried about the fact that there may not be a lot of reverse swing as both the balls will be only 25 overs old at the most.
“A bit of swing will definitely be there but there may not be much reverse swing as we expect in the sub-continent. Now the reverse swing also depends a lot on the nature of outfield and how you make the ball but of course legally,” the skipper said.
On paper and based on current form, England are certainly favourites but in home conditions, Indians have always been formidable opponents.
The series also gives Dhoni as well as the national selectors a chance to have a clear idea about the fringe players as they get an ideal opportunity to test the bench strength in the absence of senior players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan to name a few.
While Mumbai youngster Ajinkya Rahane -- the lone bright spot during India’s disastrous ODI campaign -- can consolidate his position in the team, rookie leggie Rahul Sharma, Bengal captain Manoj Tiwary, Karnataka seamer Sreenath Aravind will be hoping to get a chance at some point in the series to prove their mettle.