Tuesday, August 21, 2007


England v India: Does Anybody Care About The ODIs?

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That is not a question asked in jest. After an almighty Test series that left us all chomping at the bit for a couple of encore performances, do seven meaningless ODIs hold any significance with us cricket fans?

I don't know about you, and for this reason I'd like you to tell me, but the matches start at 11.30pm Australian Eastern time and that doesn't leave much of an appetite in my stomach to watch England get trounced - again.

Ok, ok. Maybe I am being a little unfair to the Poms in this case. They are a team that made it to the Super 8's of the that World Cup, whereas Team India crashed out rather early. I also recall them beating Australia in the most meaningless of triangular series held at the start of this year.

Even then I cannot seriously entertain the thought of an English upset in this ODI series. For mine, this series is about individuals rather than the team. Players like Yuvraj Singh, Piyush Chawla and Rohit Sharma (if he plays) have a chance to make a lasting name for themselves.

Although, this is not a make or break series for any of these three players, successive failures will increase the pressure on Yuvraj to justify his reputation as the heir apparent the thrones of the fab four. Chawla and Sharma will hopefully be treating us to their wiles for many years to come. As I have opined previously, giving them an extended taste of the big time will stand them in good stead for the future, when the senior players of today stage a collective disappearing act.

For the Poms, I seriously hope Andrew Flintoff remains fit and fighting for the duration of the series. He, along with, Kevin Pietersen are the only two English players capable of taking the game by the scruff of the neck and posing any real threat to the chances of an Indian series triumph. Flintoff, especially, has been a bane for Indian batsmen over the past 2-3 years and English fans will be hoping that he hits his straps earlier in the series, rather than later.

Prediction: An Indian series victory

What's your call?

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