India looks for a 4-0 series victory over England at Leeds

With World Cup just around 6 months away, it is interesting to notice the huge difference between India and England. India is already looking the clear favourite to defend the Cup. The Indian team is balanced and doing well in every department. On the other hand, England team has a lot to think about. Cook is under lots of pressure from the critics and his batting performance is way below par.

After the convincing victory at Edgbaston, Dhoni and his boys should be looking to wrap things up in style at Headingley, Leeds. Rahane struck a superb century and Dhoni will probably be looking to play him at the top of the order. Rahane’s biggest aspect is the fact he has a good technique and is not worried to take calculated risks. He knows the risk percentage for every delivery and only attempts big shots when the risk is at minimum. Dhoni will be more pleased with Dhawan’s batting. He is the aggressor of the two openers and it was important for him to be back in good form. He looked confident once he went past 25 and his foot movement was fabulous to watch.

Bowlers are doing a great job to restrict the English batsmen to a pretty low total and the credit will be equally shared by the new ball bowlers and the spinners. Both Kumar and Shami was picking up wickets to keep the pressure early and at the death. Shami was not in good rhythm in the Test series so it is good to see him bowling with confidence and speed. The spin duo of Jadeja and Ashwin are going through their overs very quickly and even before they realise England batsmen are finding themselves at an uncomfortable position. Raina and Rayadu are more than effective as part time spinners and can pick up wickets when needed.

England, on the other hand, is waiting for the series to be over. Their top order is not consistent and the middle order is chasing the game. Moeen Ali’s inclusion was delayed but obviously England will have to play him. He scored a quick fire 67 off just 50 balls. It seemed that he is the only player who knows how to play against the spinners. It is unfortunate to see that even Ian Bell is unable to play the spinners on pretty good wicket for batting. The bowlers are not anything different either. Harry Gurney needs to be played in more matches so that he learns enough before the World Cup. James Anderson is not looking half as lethal he was in the Test series.

The historic series win after 24 years should have a great ending if India manages to win at Leeds. The team will be confident from past records. India have won 3 out of 4 matches against England on this ground and against this England team it will not be hard to register another victory.

Squads:

England: Alastair Cook (c),  Joe RootGary Ballance, Jos Buttler (wk), Chris WoakesMoeen Ali, Alex HalesEoin Morgan, Harry GurneySteven FinnJames Anderson.

India: Shikhar DhawanAmbati RayaduVirat KohliSuresh RainaMS Dhoni (c & wk), Ajinkya RahaneRavichandran AshwinRavindra JadejaDhawal KulkarniMohammad ShamiBhuvneshwar Kumar.

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