Middlesex vs. India, Tour Match, Time, TV Info and Preview

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Middlesex vs. India, Tour Match, Time, TV Info and Preview
Paul Gilham/Getty Images

Normally this warm-up match between Middlesex and India would barely have registered a ripple, but after MS Dhoni's men's calamitous showing against England, this game has become a lot more interesting. 

Let's have a look at the sides and some of the subplots to watch out for ahead of their 50-over clash in north London.

Venue: Lord's, London

Date: Friday, Aug 22, 2014

Start time: 10:30 a.m. local time, BST

Weather: According to bbc.com/weather, cloudy skies throughout the day but should stay dry until the evening.

Live stream/TV Info: The match is scheduled to be streamed live on BTV and Gazi TV in Bangladesh and Sky Sports 2 in the UK. More channels here.

 

Preview

Just over thirty days ago, India completed an emphatic Test match win at Lord's, MS Dhoni could do no wrong, and Alastair Cook's England were in the midst of a deepening crisis. 

Rui Vieira/Associated Press

One month and three heavy drubbings later, the team are in disarray. Disillusioned skipper Dhoni has hinted he may step down, while Duncan Fletcher, although remaining as head coach, has found himself in some sort of limbo with Ravi Shastri being brought in as team director for the limited overs phase of the tour.

And now, as if things couldn't get any worse, they need to contest an almost meaningless end-of-tour five-game ODI series and a token Twenty20 international.

But amongst the doom and gloom, the arrival of some fresh faces including Suresh Raina and exciting fast paceman Umesh Yadav should lift the mood in the camp.

And some of their batsmen, such as Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, who have had miserable tours so far, should be relishing the chance to put bat on ball.

Opponents Middlesex have some interesting angles to their team also. Despite enduring a disappointing campaign across all formats, they have resisted the temptation to name a second-string side and have included Eoin Morgan and Steven Finn in their squad.

Stu Forster/Getty Images

Morgan will be the mainstay of England's middle order when the actual ODI series commences and with Alastair Cook's job as one-day captain far from secure, a run of scores against the Indians would keep the Irishman at the front of the queue for the vacancy.

While Finn, who cut a miserable and dejected figure in the winter, has bounced back this season with 44 wickets in the County Championship and will be chomping at the bit to prove he belongs at this level.

The teams have met a few times in various tour matches over the years with India edging their last clash in 1996. It is worth noting that this game isn't a classified List-A match, so more than 11 players can figure for each team over the course of the whole encounter.

 

ODI form (latest left to right)

Middlesex: WLNWLW

India: NWWWL

 

Squads

Middlesex (from): 

Eoin Morgan (capt), Joe Denly, Neil Dexter, Steven Finn, Nick Gubbins, James Harris, Ryan Higgins, Dawid Malan, Ravi Patel, Harry Podmore, Ollie Rayner, Gurjit Sandhu, John Simpson (wk), Paul Stirling.

India (from):

Mahendra Dhoni (capt & wk), Virat Kohli, Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Ajinkya Rahane, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Stuart Binny, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma, Ambati Rayudu, Umesh Yadav, Dhawal Kulkarni, Sanju Samson (wk), Karn Sharma.

 

Players to Watch

Middlesex

At the start of the season, Eoin Morgan was linked with an England recall and even gave up his IPL opportunities in order to focus on his red-ball form. But despite a decent seasonal he remains in the international wilderness...in Test cricket anyway. With the white-ball, the Irish-born batsman is the mainstay of England's middle-order and will be looking to catch the attention here.

India

All eyes on MS Dhoni. After presiding over the diminishing returns of India's Test team, the uber-skipper is facing calls for his head and has also hinted himself that he is contemplating stepping down. On the flipside however, Dhoni remains a potent force with the bat and one of the, if not the, best finishers in world cricket. This friendly will be an interesting insight as to his mind-set and body language.

 

Who will win?

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Prediction

Of course, you would expect India to have far too much for a county side but what state of mind are they in? Given that Middlesex possess plenty of players eager to make a point, this one could be tight. Expect MS Dhoni's men to win a slightly contrived match but by a narrow margin.

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