Four days after M. S. Dhoni’s men did the victory run at Nagpur, India takes on England in a seven-match One-Day International series.
The first ODI commences at the Madhavrao Scindia Stadium here on Friday.
The build-up has been amiable unlike the India-Australia skirmishes that preceded the Test series.
Andrew Flintoff recently said that India was ‘possibly the best team in the World’.
England skipper Kevin Pietersen lauded M.S. Dhoni and the Indian captain reciprocated with a word of thanks in Thursday’s press conference.
The lack of heat in the run-up to the match forced the media to query about the big-hits that cannoned from one rival net to the other.
Was a statement being made? Dhoni said, “Not really. Just that both teams were practising nearby.”
Pietersen said, “If a guy is practising a shot, he is practising a shot. Nothing more.”
Dhoni leads a young squad with Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma, Pragyan Ojha, Virat Kohli and Yusuf Pathan. Add to it M. Vijay.
Vijay, however, will have to wait for his ODI debut as there are no slots with Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir at the top of the batting line-up and a middle order that is packed.
Yuvraj Singh’s poor form during the Sri Lankan tour will be a cause for worry. A century while leading the Board President’s XI against the Aussies has been his only feel-good moment.
Ishant Sharma, down with an ankle sprain, will be missed but in the experienced duo of Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh, Dhoni has bowlers used to the run-belters that are dished out as pitches for limited-over cricket.