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Sourav Ganguly - Through the off-side

England's only chance of winning is if they win the toss and opt to bat first, writes Ganguly

Wednesday, November 26, 2021
England's only chance is if they bat first

England will have to play for pride in the next few one day matches, or they will be completely blown away by this Indian team. India have by far looked a much better team in this series, and honestly England didn't even look like being in the hunt in any of the 4 one day games .India have not just looked a better team but individual talent wise, they look far superior then the Englishmen, and it is no surprise that we have completely outclassed them in the series.

Now they move onto Cuttack where the Barabati stadium will pose more problems to them then any other venue in the country. The hotel in Bhubaneswar will be one of the best they have stayed so far, but that will be the only friendly thing they get in that part of the world .The last game India played there against the West Indies, India won defending 170 on a dust bowl, and looking at the way England have played spin, it will give them no chance. Hopefully Pietersen doesn't put India in to bat again. I don't understand who his advisers are, and I hope in the current market scenario they are not advising him in his financial investments as well, for he will get nothing in return.

England have a whole lot of problems to sort out for the rest of the series. Hopefully they will give Anderson a break or else he will lose confidence before the Test series starts. Harmison is by far their best bowler and he needs to get the new ball .He will get more bounce than anyone else, and he must make the starting XI.

Pietersen needs to put his head down and get runs. He is England's best batsman and has to fire for his team .He hasn't had success against the spinning ball either in Sri Lanka or India in his last tours, and if he has to be compared with the best, he has to score runs here, in the same way subcontinent batters have to deliver in South Africa and Australia.

Matt Prior is getting wasted down the order and if he is not opening, England should use him as a floater, especially when the power plays are on. The English batsman are not looking to hit down the ground which is a must in India, and that is why they are getting stuck at one end.

India will make a few changes in the team. They will give rest to key players which is the right way to go, as this will help them to find out about those in the reserves. Rohit Sharma needs to fire, he seems to have a good technique but lacking behind in temperament . Hopefully he will make the most of his opportunity .

Zaheer Khan who looks a class apart needs a break and come back fresh for the Test matches. The team management should send him home otherwise the mind still remains in the game and doesn't freshen up. Harbhajan also needs the break as he will have lot of bowling to do in the Tests and it will give Ojha an opportunity, and he has done well in one day cricket and will also be a good Test bowler as he gets a bit of bounce. India will try and change their team to give everyone a go and this will give England a chance to win, but England will have to bat much better or they will be beaten by a second string Indian team as well. 

And please Kevin Pietersen win the toss and bat!