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India aim to maintain stranglehold

By The Assam Tribune

MUMBAI, Oct 22 (PTI): The series may be in their grasp, but India are unlikely to take their feet off the pedal when they take on a hapless England in the fourth ODI to push for a whitewash in the five-match ODI series here tomorrow.

Having outplayed England in the first three encounters, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men have returned to the scene of India�s greatest triumph just over six months after sending the billon-strong nation to delirium by clinching cricket�s biggest prize � the World Cup � under lights at this revamped arena.

Memories of that glorious April 2 night and the wild celebrations that followed might be distant for Dhoni especially after his squad was swamped by England at home in all three formats soon after that historic triumph.

The 3-0 unassailable lead going into the penultimate clash on a wicket that is expected to be a slow turner may not be redemption, but it must have assuaged some bad feelings the Indian captain might have carried since his return home from the disastrous tour of England.

What should be more pleasing to him and coach Duncan Fletcher is that the triumphant run in the current series has been achieved without the presence of several key members of the World Cup-winning squad, indicating the strong bench strength, albeit in home conditions.

But Dhoni knows that a momentary easing of the pressure applied by his men on England could be counter-productive. He would be keen to keep the winning momentum going to stay in the hunt for a memorable clean sweep, with the last game being scheduled at Kolkata on October 25.

Team India has done everything right thus far and taken the insurmountable lead with the same eleven players turning out in the first three matches and the batting order too remaining constant.

The home team has batted well, both while chasing the target or setting one, with skipper Dhoni himself taking up the challenge when the innings had gone into a slight wobble on occasions.

Among the most pleasing aspects of the five-wicket victory in Mohali was the form shown by young opener Ajinkya Rahane � the lone Mumbai representative in the squad in this series, who would be playing his first international encounter in front of his home supporters,

The 20-year-old Rahane, who scored a man-of-the-match winning 91, and the fighting Parthiv Patel laid the platform for the challenging (300 run target) chase with a stand of 79 that helped lay a good platform for Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja to finish off the match and seal the series triumph.

With Gautam Gambhir also showing good form with a half century, the stiff target was reached with five wickets to spare. Add to this mixture, the explosive potentials of Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina and the batting in ideal conditions looks formidable.

England bowlers have been largely clueless on how to tame the Indian batting line up on shirt-front wickets, unlike in the recent series back home when the shoe was on the other foot. They need to come out with something different if they have to make a match of it here.

To add to their woes, pacer Chris Woakes has picked up an injury without playing a match in the series and has been replaced by Graham Onions in the squad.

India too have lost young Vidarbha pacer Umesh Yadav, who has had a mixed series, following an injury in the previous game at Mohali on October 20.

His replacement, Bangalore-based Abhimanyu Mithun, has played four Tests and a couple of ODIs in his short international career while his rival for the spot vacated by Yadav, has none. It�s a toss-up between him and greenhorn Varun Aaron for the third seamer�s spot.

The largely inexperienced Indian bowling attack has done enough to keep the English batsmen under the cosh. In slightly seam and swing friendly conditions the two Kumars - Praveen and Vinay - have struck early blows.

In conditions aiding some turn, the spin duo of left arm Jadeja and off break bowler R Ashwin have kept the run-scoring down to put the England middle-order under pressure to improve the run-rate.

Teams (from): India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Gautam Gambhir, Parthiv Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Varun Aaron, Abhimanyu Mithun, Vinay Kumar, S Aravind, Rahul Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Praveen Kumar.

England: Alastair Cook (capt), Craig Kieswetter, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Ravi Bopara, Jonathan Bairstow, Graeme Swann, Samit Patel, Tim Bresnan, Steven Finn, Stuart Meaker, Graham Onions, Scott Borthwick, Jose Buttler, Alex Hales.

Ground umpires: Billy Bowden (NZ), Sudhir Asnani (Ind). Third umpire: S Ravi (Ind). Fourth umpire: Vineet Kulkarni. Match referee: Roshan Mahanama.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)

India aim to maintain stranglehold

MUMBAI, Oct 22 (PTI): The series may be in their grasp, but India are unlikely to take their feet off the pedal when they take on a hapless England in the fourth ODI to push for a whitewash in the five-match ODI series here tomorrow.

Having outplayed England in the first three encounters, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men have returned to the scene of India�s greatest triumph just over six months after sending the billon-strong nation to delirium by clinching cricket�s biggest prize � the World Cup � under lights at this revamped arena.

Memories of that glorious April 2 night and the wild celebrations that followed might be distant for Dhoni especially after his squad was swamped by England at home in all three formats soon after that historic triumph.

The 3-0 unassailable lead going into the penultimate clash on a wicket that is expected to be a slow turner may not be redemption, but it must have assuaged some bad feelings the Indian captain might have carried since his return home from the disastrous tour of England.

What should be more pleasing to him and coach Duncan Fletcher is that the triumphant run in the current series has been achieved without the presence of several key members of the World Cup-winning squad, indicating the strong bench strength, albeit in home conditions.

But Dhoni knows that a momentary easing of the pressure applied by his men on England could be counter-productive. He would be keen to keep the winning momentum going to stay in the hunt for a memorable clean sweep, with the last game being scheduled at Kolkata on October 25.

Team India has done everything right thus far and taken the insurmountable lead with the same eleven players turning out in the first three matches and the batting order too remaining constant.

The home team has batted well, both while chasing the target or setting one, with skipper Dhoni himself taking up the challenge when the innings had gone into a slight wobble on occasions.

Among the most pleasing aspects of the five-wicket victory in Mohali was the form shown by young opener Ajinkya Rahane � the lone Mumbai representative in the squad in this series, who would be playing his first international encounter in front of his home supporters,

The 20-year-old Rahane, who scored a man-of-the-match winning 91, and the fighting Parthiv Patel laid the platform for the challenging (300 run target) chase with a stand of 79 that helped lay a good platform for Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja to finish off the match and seal the series triumph.

With Gautam Gambhir also showing good form with a half century, the stiff target was reached with five wickets to spare. Add to this mixture, the explosive potentials of Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina and the batting in ideal conditions looks formidable.

England bowlers have been largely clueless on how to tame the Indian batting line up on shirt-front wickets, unlike in the recent series back home when the shoe was on the other foot. They need to come out with something different if they have to make a match of it here.

To add to their woes, pacer Chris Woakes has picked up an injury without playing a match in the series and has been replaced by Graham Onions in the squad.

India too have lost young Vidarbha pacer Umesh Yadav, who has had a mixed series, following an injury in the previous game at Mohali on October 20.

His replacement, Bangalore-based Abhimanyu Mithun, has played four Tests and a couple of ODIs in his short international career while his rival for the spot vacated by Yadav, has none. It�s a toss-up between him and greenhorn Varun Aaron for the third seamer�s spot.

The largely inexperienced Indian bowling attack has done enough to keep the English batsmen under the cosh. In slightly seam and swing friendly conditions the two Kumars - Praveen and Vinay - have struck early blows.

In conditions aiding some turn, the spin duo of left arm Jadeja and off break bowler R Ashwin have kept the run-scoring down to put the England middle-order under pressure to improve the run-rate.

Teams (from): India: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (capt), Gautam Gambhir, Parthiv Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin, Varun Aaron, Abhimanyu Mithun, Vinay Kumar, S Aravind, Rahul Sharma, Manoj Tiwary, Praveen Kumar.

England: Alastair Cook (capt), Craig Kieswetter, Jonathan Trott, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Ravi Bopara, Jonathan Bairstow, Graeme Swann, Samit Patel, Tim Bresnan, Steven Finn, Stuart Meaker, Graham Onions, Scott Borthwick, Jose Buttler, Alex Hales.

Ground umpires: Billy Bowden (NZ), Sudhir Asnani (Ind). Third umpire: S Ravi (Ind). Fourth umpire: Vineet Kulkarni. Match referee: Roshan Mahanama.

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— Dalai Lama(THIS IS STATIC)