India have bagged the series against England when they won the fourth ODI at Mohali by five wickets with Rohit Sharma, who joined the team after a break, and Suresh Raina playing brilliantly to chase down the 258 run target. Since the last match at Dharamshala is going to be a dead rubber, both teams may give newcomers a chance to prove their mettle on the international front.
Opener Gautam Gambhir has been in poor form for some time now and India will grab this opportunity to give Cheteshwar Pujara a chance who hasn’t played a singe game in the series. Rohit Sharma might play at the top in the final ODI. Virat Kohli will retain his spot as will Yuvraj Singh, who disappointed home crowd by managing only 3 runs in the fourth ODI at Mohali.
The inconsistent batting order of the Indian team seems to be gaining some footing now as Raina, who scored 89 in the previous match, can be counted on for a decent knock. He has scored 6 half centuries in his last ten innings. Skipper Dhoni is next followed by Ravindra Jadeja who has laid all doubts to rest.
Ravindra Ashwin may sit this one out to give Amit Mishra a much needed opportunity. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmad are likely to be retained as both have performed reasonably well. Ashok Dinda might play instead of Ishant Sharma as the latter has been rather inconsistent. Ravindra Jadeja has been as dangerous with the ball as he has been with the bat. The Indian bowling on the whole has been quite impressive and will look to improve further in the near future.
Although England got off to a good start at Mohali, their middle order crumbled leaving them short by at least 50 runs at the end of the innings. There may not be many changes in the line up as they head for the final match of the series. To salvage what is left of their pride, England will need to ensure that the entire team performs collectively when required.
Ian Bell will open along with Alastair Cook. Bell managed only 10 runs before he was dismissed. Kevin Peiterson and Alastrair Cook put on a 95 run parternership to get the team back in order. A longer partnership might have leveled the series.
Eoin Morgan has been playing very poorly these last few matches, scoring above 10 runs in just one game. He will need to fire to ensure that the selectors don’t give him the old heave ho in future series. Joe Root has been praised for his cool head under pressure by his captain, and ideally should bat higher up the order. All rounder Samit Patel and wicketkeeper Jos Buttler rounding things up for their batsmen.
In the bowling department, Jade Dernbach and Tim Bresnan are likely to make way for Chris Woakes and Stuart Meaker, while James Tredwell could find Danny Briggs playing the last ODI in his stead. England’s bowlers haven’t been able to make breakthroughs as often as they did during the test series, and it will be imperative that they do so if the visitors hope to win the last match.
Gautam Gambhir/Cheteshwar Pujara, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin/Amit Mishra, Ishant Sharma/Ashok Dinda, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shami Ahmed.
Ian Bell, Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen, Craig Kieswetter, Samit Patel, Joe Root, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Tim Bresnan, Chris Wakes/Steven Finn, James Tredwell/Danny Briggs.