The 5-match One Day International series between India and England is going to start next week.
The English selectors have named their first choice players in the squad for that series. Just Stuart Broad’s name is missing and that’s because he has to go through knee surgery. But, apart from him, all the other seniors, including James Anderson who did a lot of bowling in the test series, are going to feature.
The first match of the series is scheduled to be played at Bristol where the pitch is flat and slow and thus, will suit the visitors.
India has three spinners in the squad in the form of Ravindra Jadeja, R Ashwin and Karn Sharma and all of them are likely to be included in the XI. So, if the pitch offers even slight turn, there will be trouble for England.
The Poms themselves have got a couple of spinners though i.e. James Tredwell and Moeen Ali who had got under the skin of the Indian players during the test matches. So, the contest is going to be tight.
However, it remains to be seen if the English team management gets Moeen in the playing XI or not and if he plays, he opens or not.
In the middle order of England, there is no vacant spot available and Moeen is not a power hitter. So, he can’t bat lower down the order i.e. at no. 7. It means if he plays, he would most probably be opening the batting with Alastair Cook.
There is a devastating opener named Alex Hales who has been selected in the England squad for this series and it would be a tricky decision for Alastair Cook whether to go with Hales or with Moeen.
Moeen has played only 3 ODIs so far.
The England middle order batsman, Joe Root, showed yesterday how much he has grown as a player. The Yorkshire youngster had entered the ground in an extremely troublesome phase. The ball was reverse swinging and England was losing wickets quickly. But, he grinded well and at the stumps on the third day, he was batting on 70 odd.
Those 70 odd runs by Root might have saved the test match for England. If he had not hung in there during that period after tea and had not got a couple of half century partnerships with the English tail-enders, England would have been all out and India would have got some runs in the last hour. That would have increased their lead.
But, now that Root has built those partnerships with Broad and Anderson, it has made things a little tough for India. They are still in a good position, but, if they have to win from here, their batsmen will have to score runs at a brisk pace in the second innings so that their bowlers get enough time to bowl England out for the second time.
It would not be easy to do on this Nottingham pitch which is very, very slow. No batsman has managed to find regular boundaries here.
And, before all that, India will have to split that last English pair of Root and Anderson. They are still at the crease.
Root would like to kill as much time as possible tomorrow by farming the strike. He would not mind going for some shots too as that would only reduce India’s lead.
So, tomorrow is going to be a match defining day at Nottingham. An early wicket for India and then, a couple of aggressive innings by their batsmen might get them in a winning position again.
The Worcestershire player, Moeen Ali, made a pretty good start to his test career yesterday as he managed to play a steady knocks of 48 in England’s first innings in the ongoing Lord’s test match against Sri Lanka.
The 26-year old left hander walked out to bat at no. 6 with the match evenly poised. Having got Ian Bell out, the Sri Lankan bowlers had their tails up and they were looking for another quick breakthrough, but, Moeen didn’t let them do so.
He remained calm and showed that he has got the skills which are needed to become a good test player. He played some very stylish strokes which got the crowd on its feet.
He would have been very disappointed though that he couldn’t get to his half century which was just a couple of runs away.
It has been Moeen’s problem in county cricket as well. He starts his inning with some good strokes almost all the time and gets set pretty quickly and then, gives away his wicket. He must know that he can’t do that at the test level. If he has to play 5-day cricket for England for a long time even as an all rounder, he needs to score big more often than not.
As far as the Lord’s test match is concerned, Moeen has to play a big role with the ball too. He is the leading spinner in this English side and thus, most definitely, will be bowling bulk of overs.
The Sri Lankan batsmen, however, are very; very good players of spin and thus, Moeen will have to work hard if he has to get wickets.
It would be interesting to see how often he bowls the Doosra which he has learnt from the Pakistani off spinner Saeed Ajmal.