India have already sealed the ODI series 3-0 with one match still to play, however the final match of the series bears with it potentially significant repercussions for English cricket with Alastair Cook’s future as ODI captain coming under increasing pressure.
Venue: Headingley, Leeds
Date: Friday, September 5th 2014
Time: 10.30 a.m. GMT
Live On: Sky Sports (UK), STAR Sports (India), Fox Sports (Australia), SuperSport (South Africa), PTV Sports (Pakistan), Ten Sports (Sri Lanka), Orbit Showtime Network (Middle East)
Weather: Yahoo Weather are forecasting highs of 21 degrees Celsius with sun and clouds throughout the day.
England’s ODI strategy is hideously out of touch with the beat of the modern day but that does not render it entirely futile. It is an indirect way to go about success in modern ODI cricket, but it is still a viable option. In this, the final ODI of a long and tumultuous summer for Alastair Cook, a triumph of strategy and a victory would go a long way to relieving the pressure that could otherwise become insurmountable as the season winds to a close.
More important than perhaps anything is his own form. It is now 38 innings and 26 months that he has reached 80 in the format; a century, for example, would not rid his critics of their legitimacy but would cut him some considerable slack.
Quite frankly the form of England’s entire batting order is in question, with their failure being collective as much as it has been individual over the last three ODIs. Moeen Ali’s vivacious fifty in the last match stood out, it’ll be exciting to see if he can replicate such form.
For India, there is little that needs to be said other than they need to just carry on doing what they've been doing. As much as this series has ben about England losing it should also be about India winning. MS Dhoni’s team have shown admirable character in bouncing back from the Test series defeat and have played genuinely impressive ODI cricket in unfamiliar conditions. This final ODI could give them the opportunity to play some of the more fringe players such as the hugely exciting young wicketkeeper batsman Sanju Samson.
Ian Bell is ruled out again for England with a fractured toe—he may have played his final ODI—but elsewhere it’s nearly impossible to predict what this unstable England side with no direction, leadership or overbearing concept of strategy will do next other than most likely lose.
England: Alastair Cook, Alex Hales, Ian Bell, Gary Ballance, Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Chris Jordan, James Anderson, James Tredwell, Harry Gurney, Steven Finn, Eoin Morgan, Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes.
India: MS Dhoni, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Murali Vijay, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambait Rayudu, Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuveneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammad Shami, Dhawal Kulkarni, Sanju Samsom, Stuart Binny, Karn Sharma