India can seal one-day series against England in Game Four at Birmingham today
Birmingham: An unassailable lead in their pocket, India would look to clinch the ODI series against England by putting up another dominating display when the two sides square off in the fourth one-dayer here today.
India players celebrate an English wicket during the second ODI in Cardiff last week. Pic/AFP
The visitors have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series. This was after the first ODI at Bristol was abandoned due to incessant rain. At Edgbaston then, the Men in Blue will be hoping to wrap things up with one match remaining in the series.
Their confidence will stem from the simple fact that England have been unable to challenge them in the two matches played so far.
On current evidence, in limited-overs cricket, the hosts appear to be a completely different animal that takes the field in the Test arena.
India's World Cup plans have been hit by Rohit Sharma's finger injury. This is their last overseas ODI assignment before the tri-series in Australia later in January, a dress rehearsal for their title defence.
Virat Kohli's poor run-of-form has been shaded by the Indian success riding on others' shoulders.
Ajinkya Rahane has often stepped in as part-timer opener but when both Rohit and Dhawan have been selected, he has batted at No 4. At Trent Bridge, the think-rank opted for their part-time arrangement and moved Rahane up again.
It afforded Ambati Rayudu another opportunity, especially after he scored a decent half-century in the warm-up match against Middlesex.
He hasn't got many chances in the first XI and when he was included in the side at Trent Bridge, Rayudu responded with a career-best 64 not out.
Meanwhile, Murali Vijay has joined the team as Rohit's replacement and it becomes an interesting selection headache, one with long-term implications.
With Vijay now available, will Rahane move back to number four, his long-term slot, as Dhoni had suggested in Cardiff? Or will India continue to play their short-term solution for Rohit's absence?
If Vijay doesn't play, will that mean Rahane is the firm third-choice opener for the World Cup and will be performing a dual role as per the situation?
If Vijay does play, is he the alternate opener for Australia-New Zealand in 2015 then? All these questions and many more are waiting to be answered.
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