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Wednesday, November 19, 2008

India keen to tighten the noose in third one-dayer

England have its tail tucked between legs after the twin mauling in Rajkot and Indore and will have to quickly find a way to stop India's in-form batsmen from launching another assault when they go into the third cricket one-dayer here on Thursday.

With pitch curator Shiv Kumar predicting a bowlers' bloodbath tomorrow, England pacers would have their task cut out when they mark their run-up against India's awe-inspiring batting order and a defeat here would leave them with the improbable task of winning the remaining four matches to win the series.

It was not merely the margin of defeat but the manner of it that exposed England's lack of resources in all three departments and Pietersen and party are simply clueless how to silence Yuvraj Singh's booming blade.

Eight years in the business and still not a certainty in the Test squad, Yuvraj unleashed his pent-up frustration with some power-hitting and the English bowlers can consider themselves simply unlucky to find themselves in his line of fire.

In two matches, Yuvraj proved he could be swashbuckling and sublime as well. His 78-ball 138 in Rajkot was pure aggression but the ton in Indore, on a two-paced track, would rank even higher because of its influence on the outcome of the match.

Spread-eagled by Yuvraj's blazing blade, Stuart Broad and his bowling colleagues can only hope for the law of average to catch up with the England bugbear tomorrow.

So far, India has kept things simple, raise a mountain of runs and bury England under it. English bowlers bled 679 runs in just two matches -- 372 of it in fours and sixes -- failing to bowl out the hosts even once.

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