India to test bench strength in day-night Cuttack game

November 25th, 2008 - 8:12 pm ICT by IANS  

Cuttack, Nov 25 (IANS) Having wrapped up the series against England, India will test its bench strength while the visitors will look to salvage pride in the day-night fifth game of the seven-match Hero Honda Cup limited-overs cricket series here Wednesday.India lead the seven-match series 4-0 and Mahendra Singh Dhoni made it clear that peripheral players will get a chance in the remaining three one-dayers.

“There will be a few changes in the side in the next three matches. Some of the people who have not played in the series so far will play,” Dhoni said.

Dhoni though said there will be no let-up in their intensity and they will aim for a whitewash.

“Three more matches to come and we want to win all those games.”

Nothing has clicked for England in the series so far. Even the weather gods and Duckoworth-Lewis charts have conspired against them, though India have been the superior side in all the four matches.

While every player in the Indian team has contributed to the success, Kevin Pietersen’s side has not come together as a unit.

English batsmen have shone well in patches but the top-order has failed to crack centuries, something which, Pietersen said, is key to win matches on the subcontinental wickets. The bowlers, too, looked bereft of ideas and barring Stuart Broad, none has been impressive in containing the aggressive Indian batsmen.

The game in Bangalore was reduced to a 22-over contest, and Dhoni felt his fast bowlers did the job for him.

“Because of the wet outfield, the ball became soggy and it was not easy to grip it.”

“We have one specialist spinner and a couple of part-time spinners. It was really difficult for them. But then Zaheer Khan, Ishant Sharma and Munaf Patel bowled very well.”

Pietersen’s stint as captain started on a resounding note with a 4-0 win over South Africa in the summer, but the bubble has burst in India.

“We have been done in by an Indian side which is playing fantastic cricket at the moment. We came here on a high after the 4-0 win against South Africa back home and I guess we have to adjust to this series defeat now.”

“We have to make sure that this competition stays competitive. We have to win a few games. We came here to win the series but we have not won it. So we have to make sure we win a few games at least.”

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