With the series already lost, India’s misfiring senior players will be looking to strike form even as skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni remains doubtful for Sunday’s third and final ODI against Pakistan.
It will be the last chance for the seniors to impress the selectors as the team for the forthcoming five-match series against England will be announced after the match at the Ferozeshah Kotla.
The Indian top order has struggled in the series and the spotlight will be on Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina to perform or perish at the Ferozeshah Kotla.
Dhoni defends Kohli
Dhoni defended Virat Kohli, but stressed than one of the top-three has to bat with the middle-order. For Dhoni it will be a tough call to make, whether to continue with he opening batsman or replace one of them with Ajinkya Rahane.
But at their home ground, it will be difficult to leave out Sehwag and Gambhir. Asked about Rahane, Dhoni said: “We’ll have to weigh in the alternatives we have and decide whether it would be wise to make changes in the last game of the series or give him a long rope in the next series.”
Karthik as cover
Dhoni has a sore back the he sustained during Saturday’s practice session. Dinesh Karthik will be his cover. “I don’t think anyone is irreplaceable. If I miss the match, I’m sure Dinesh will bat as well as I did in the last two matches,” Dhoni said.
While India will have only pride to play for, Pakistan will be looking to finish the series with a 3-0 whitewash. The public outcry following the dismal performance in the Test series against England and now against Pakistan have put India under pressure and skipper Dhoni will be looking to finish the series with at least a win. Dhoni, who has been amongst the runs in the series, said the top-order’s failure has been a concern for the team.