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Sourav Ganguly - Through the off-side

Raina has struggled against short ball and is not suited for the vital slot



Sunday, November 23, 2021
Gambhir better off at No 3

There is a saying in sport, that when u are playing well the luck and the results seem to go your way. This is exactly what happened in Kanpur, and Pietersen might have felt a bit let down with the result in the 3rd one dayer.

India could have still won the game comfortably with Dhoni and Pathan at the wicket, but nothing is certain in this game till the very last ball is bowled.

India move to Bangalore with a 3-0 advantage, and just need one more win to clinch the series. Bangalore is a venue which the Englishmen will like after the games at Rajkot, Indore and Kanpur, as the pitch at the KSCA will suit their quicks a lot more then what it has during this series, and it's also a fantastic cricket ground.

Its a newly laid pitch with Kiwi curators, and a typical non-Indian kind of surface. England need to bring back Harmison, as he will be a much better option with the new ball, as he hits the deck hard, compared to Anderson who is a swing bowler. Anderson's style of bowling is not suited to Indian conditions, so Harmison will be a worthy replacement.

Graeme Swann was a good addition to the squad in the previous game, and he will have a crucial role at Bangalore as well.

The most worrying aspect for me about England is the way they have batted on this tour. Their performance against the fast bowlers has been reasonably good, but they have looked completely at sea against the spinners. They have moved around the crease so much that they have got themselves into trouble with very ordinary deliveries.

India have made a few changes to their squad for Bangalore. Sachin Tendulkar is back in the team and should walk into the playing XI and partner Sehwag at the top of the order, with Gambhir coming in at 3.

It should not worry Gambhir too much, as there is not much difference at that position, and he has done well at 3 in the past for India. I think it's a much better option in the long run as Raina looked a position higher to me in that slot. Raina needs to find a way to handle the short stuff as news goes around in world cricket a lot faster these days, and he will get a lot more of that as his career goes forward. More than Raina, Rohit Sharma has looked completely out of sorts, and has not done justice to his immense talent.

With Sachin back in the XI, the batting line-up will be among the strongest in world cricket. It reminds me of the time when Sachin, Rahul and I were playing as each of us had over 10000 runs in one-day cricket.

We are in for a cracking day/night game in Bangalore, and England will have to play out of their skins to come back in series.

(PMG)
 


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