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Home Injury torn India prepare for ODIs
Ravinda Jedeja has replaced injured Gautam Gambhir in the India squad for the One Day International series with England, as the tourists’ wretched luck continues.
Opening batsman Gambhir has failed to recover from the concussion he suffered in the fourth Test at the Oval, where India slumped to a 4-0 series whitewash.
All-rounder Jadeja, who played the last of his 35 ODI’s against New Zealand in December 2010, could now play at Lord’s when the fourth ODI takes place on September 11.
India, of course, are world champions at the 50-over game and remain favourites to take the ODI series against an England team rebuilding ahead of the 2015 World Cup.
But Gambhir’s injury leaves them without two of their explosive top three after Virender Sehwag’s unhappy tour was cut short prior to the ODIs.
Couple that to the continued absence of star bowler Zaheer Khan, player of the 2011 World Cup Yuvraj Singh, spinner Harbhajan Singh and seamer Ishant Sharma and India look a less fearsome outfit.
Consequently they are a far more youthful side than the one which performed so poorly in the Test series – 38-year-old’s Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid aside.
In addition to the 22-year-old Jadeja uncapped Varun Aaron, 21 and Ajinkya Rahane, 23, are among the lesser known India players set to play a part in the series.
Despite the apparent advantage they have been handed, England Twenty20 captain Stuart Broad insists the home side will not be underestimating their wounded opponents.
Broad, who captained England to victory in the one off NatWest T20 International at Old Trafford, said: “We know that they have a few players out, especially some big hitters at the top of the order.
“But we also know how big cricket is in India, we know they have talented players and exciting youngsters so anyone we play we know we have a tough challenge.”
Despite their continued failing’s in major ODI tournaments, England’s form in series’ on their home soil has been impressive in the past few years.
They were torn apart 6-1 against Australia in September 2009 but the 3-2 win over the same opposition in early 2010 has sparked a run of four series victories on the trot.
Alastair Cook’s captaincy got off to a good start against Sri Lanka earlier in the summer as the hosts came from 2-1 down to clinch the series 3-2, with the new skipper putting in a couple of match-winning knocks.
The bulk of the England squad has been retained for what should be a fascinating encounter, though Kevin Pietersen has been rested for the series – replaced by Ben Stokes.
England ODI squad
Name Age Caps
Alastair Cook (Captain)
Craig Kieswetter (wicket-keeper)
India ODI squad
Name Age Caps
MS Dhoni (Captain & wicket-keeper)
Suresh Raina (vice-captain)