India still seek elusive win against England
Trailing 0-2, it will take nothing short of a miracle for a depleted and humiliated India to turn things around and stay afloat when they take on a rampaging England in the fourth one-dayer of a five-match series at the Lord's in London on Sunday.
Handed a three-wicket defeat in the third ODI, India cannot win the series from here on but they can certainly draw level by winning the last two games.
However, that looks easier said than done given how dominant the English have been on the injury-ravaged visitors.
But Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni finally believes his side has the balance to take on England with the induction of just one man -- all-rounder Ravinder Jadeja.
The spunky young cricketer excelled with both the bat and ball in the third one-day international to be named man of the match within a day of his joining the team.
Image: Graeme Swann celebrates after winning against India
Jadeja impresses in his first ODI
Jadeja, flown in as one of the two replacements for the injured Sachin Tendulkar and Rohit Sharma, made an immediate impression by scoring 78 and picking up two wickets when England batted.
He gave proof of his maturing talent as he didn't have the best of platform while batting or bowling. India were 58 for 5 when he walked in to bat.
Later when he came on to bowl, England were already 60 runs up from the first 10 overs. On both occasions, he delivered in style.
Dhoni believes that the worry of the fifth bowler is over for him with Jadeja's induction.
Image: Ravindra Jadeja hits a boundary during his match
Photographs: Getty Images
Poor show from pacers
It allows him to plug in with part-timers, such as Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina, in case one of the five regular bowlers is not on top of his form or when the conditions are not suiting a certain kind of bowling.
Jadeja's maturity with the bat implies India have men to rally around with lower half which was a cause of concern before he joined the ranks. His fielding is another fillip for the Indian team.
It would also encourage India's top order to be motivated and get their act together.
One major concern for Dhoni though is how poorly his new-ball bowlers have bowled in the first 10 overs.
For the second game in succession, India were not able to make an impression on England's top order with the new ball. On both occasions, England have been off to a flyer.
Image: Praveen Kumar
Munaf struggles in ODI series
Praveen Kumar, usually excellent with the new ball, is coming under the hammer upfront, especially from aggressive home opener Craig Kieswetter.
Dhoni didn't give him more than four overs and tended to rely on his spinners.
Munaf Patel, usually a reliable and economical medium-pacer, is proving of little value as he went for 63 runs from his eight-odd overs on Friday.
Even though both R Ashwin and Jadeja were impressive with their bowling, they would be still more effective if medium-pacers are able to give an early breakthrough.
India would also be hoping the luck of toss goes in their favour and they are able to chase down a target which hasn't been the case with them so far in the one-day series.
Image: Munaf Patel
England eyeing a series win
England, despite being 2-0 up, ought to be a little worried about their less-than-fluent win.
Quite a few of their batsmen appeared at sea against quality spin bowling. Besides, they couldn't finish off the Indian innings after having them reeling at 58 for 5.
Medium-fast bowler Jade Dernbach has an impressive reputation as a bowler in death over but his mix of deliveries is leaving little impression on Indian batters.
England also gave away 84 runs from the last 10 overs and their old worry in the death over appears to be resurfacing.
Fortunately for them, they bat deep and in Tim Bresnan, Stuart Broad and Graeme Swann, they have an excellent trio who are as impressive with the ball as they are with the bat, lower down the order.
The hosts would also be motivated to win the game on Sunday and wrap up the series against the Indians.
It would make a perfect summer for them where they defeated Sri Lanka in Tests and one-dayers and later, they could do the same against the Indians.
Image: Craig Kieswetter during a nets session at The Kia Oval