7.45pm: Ashwin departs at 13.
7.32pm: Ravindra Jadeja departs at 7 off 9 balls.
7.30pm: MS Dhoni departs at 32.
7.15: Raina departs at 50.
7.00pm: Suresh Raina dropped at 46.
6.30pm: Yuvraj Singh departs c Dernbach b Tredwell 61.
6.15pm: Yuvraj Singh completes fifty off 38 balls.
5.55pm: Virat Kohli c †Kieswetter b Bresnan 15.
5.30pm: Gautam Gambhir c Bell b Tredwell 52.
5.25pm: Gautam Gambhir slams fifty off 48 balls.
5.20pm: Rahane c Dernbach b Tredwell 47.
4.45pm: First fifty for India comes in 41 balls.
4.10pm: Rahane, Gambhir start Indian chase against 326 by England
Riding high on the a concrete opening partnership (158 runs) from captain Alastair Cook (75) and Ian Bell (75) helped England put up a total of 325 runs against the hosts.
Indian bowlers remained ineffective in front of the English attack throughout the innings. However, Ashok Dinda with his twin strike brought back India into the game but quick 44 off 20 balls by Samit Patel in the last couple of overs helped the visitors put a huge total of 325 runs.
3.30pm: Samit Patel's quick 44 off 20 balls helped england put 326 runs target for India.
3.00pm: c Kohli b Dinda 44
2.55pm: Morgan c & b Dinda 41
1.55pm: Ian Bell (85) has been run-out by Ajinkya Rahane.
England 158/1 (27.4 overs)
1pm: Ian Bell reaches his 24th ODI fifty with a reverse sweep to third man for a boundary. Eight runs from the over – a boundary, a couple and two singles.
England: 80/0 (15.4 overs)
11.45am: England won the toss and elected to bat in the first ODI against India on Friday at SCA stadium, Rajkot.
Their egos battered after the debacle against arch-foes Pakistan, India hardly have any time to reflect and plug the loopholes but an inexperienced England attack gives the hosts a slight edge in the five-match ODI series starting here tomorrow.
The 1-2 loss to Pakistan had exposed chinks in the Indian batting armour, forcing the selectors to omit off-colour opener Virender Sehwag and replace him with in-form local hero Cheteshwar Pujara in the squad to take on England in the first three games.
England will again be led by their victorious Test skipper Alastair Cook but their bowling attack, without the presence of several key Test bowlers, appears inexperienced and could be just the tonic needed by the bruised Indian batting line-up to get back into the groove.
Barring Dhoni, who scored a century and a half-century in totalling 203 runs in the three games against Pakistan, it was a collective batting failure by the Indian top-order in which Suresh Raina, with a modest tally of 92 runs, with 43 as his best score, emerged as the second-best batsman. Opener Gautam Gambhir, who escaped the axe in the aftermath of the series defeat, his Delhi teammate Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh were flops against Pakistan, whose pace attack severely dented their confidence.
But against the less-experienced England pace attack, led by Tim Bresnan and Steven Finn, the same set of batsmen ought to flourish, especially on what promises to be a batting-friendly playing surface.
The old ground in this city, the Madhavrao Scindia race course ground, was known for its placid tracks and in the last ODI game played here in 2008, the England pace attack was hit all over the park by Gambhir, Sehwag and Yuvraj, who cracked a 78-ball 138 with 6 sixes and 16 fours in it. That attack comprised of James Anderson, India’s nemesis in Tests who is absent from the ODI series, Stuart Broad,
available only for the last two games of the current rubber, and the retired duo of Andrew Flintoff and Steve Harmison.
The current new-ball attack comprising Bresnan, Finn, Stuart Meaker and Jade Dernbach does not appear as lethal as the one that was smashed to smithereens by the Indian batsmen four years ago. “It will be good to see the Indian batsmen getting some confidence back (after their poor display against Pakistan bowlers) and the track will suit the batsmen. Scores in excess of 300 are expected,” said a top official of the Saurashtra Cricket Association about the pitch at the newly built SCA Stadium.
It remains to be seen whether Pujara, who goes into the game with a triple century for Saurashtra in the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal game against Karnataka, can find a place in the eleven.
The England attack, which is yet to come to grips with the new ODI rules, has been criticised in the British press following the two straight losses the team suffered in the warm-up games in Delhi against India A and Delhi and may find the track here devoid of any substantial help.
Off-spinner James Tredwell has emerged with some success in these games and England would look to him to make inroads in the middle overs at this ground where tall scores have been common in past Ranji Trophy games before it was officially inaugurated last Sunday.
In batting, England will depend a lot on Cook, Ian Bell, who seems to have taken a liking at last to Indian tracks by scoring a ton and a 91 in the two warm-up games, Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan. In wicketkeeper Craig Kieswetter and Joseph Butler, England have two other batsmen capable of taking the aerial route and get quick runs.
India’s young pace bowling attack of Shami Ahmed and Bhuvneshwar Kumar would be tested severely on this track after the bowler-friendly conditions they had played in against Pakistan. The more experienced Ishant Sharma needs to show the way. Spin would be in the hands of Ravichandran Ashwin, whose form has been up and down, and Ravindra Jadeja, along with Yuvraj Singh, who has the knack of getting among the wickets against Englishmen.
The series provides a chance for India to redeem its prestige, while England can cement their place at the top of one-day rankings by winning. India also have the chance to shoot to the top of the order again if they can make a 5-0 clean sweep like they did in 2008. For England, like it was the case in the Test rubber, a series triumph would result in re-writing history after nearly three decades.
England currently lead second-ranked South Africa by a fraction of a point, but will take an outright lead on the championship table if they win the series against India, irrespective of the results of the South Africa-New Zealand and Australia-Sri Lanka series.
India: M.S. Dhoni (Captain), Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashok Dinda, Shami Ahmed.
England: Alastair Cook, Joe Root, Ian Bell, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Joseph Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Craig Kieswetter(wk), Stuart Meakar, Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Kevin Petersen, James Tredwell, Chris Woakes.