Beating Aussies, India gear up for England
RAJKOT: Buoyant India hope to build on their impressive Test success over Australia by defeating England in a seven-match one-day series starting on Friday.
Mahendra Dhoni's home team takes the field for the first match here just four days after conquering world champions Australia 2-0 in a high-profile Test series to take the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.
Dhoni was confident his team would take the sudden switch to limited-overs cricket in its stride and was relying on fresh legs to see India through in a gruelling 19-day series across the country.
"Modern schedules demand that we switch quickly from Tests to one-dayers and we have to adjust fast and keep up the momentum," the Indian captain said.
"Besides, not all players in our one-day squad took part in the Tests and they will be fresh and raring to go."
Only five Indians -- Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan -- who turned out for the Test series will play the opening match.
One-day cricket's leading batsman Sachin Tendulkar opted to rest for the first three matches, while in-form fast bowler Ishant Sharma was sidelined for Friday's clash due to a sprained ankle.
England also faced injury worries with left-arm seamer Ryan Sidebottom ruled out of the first match with an Achilles tendon problem and paceman Stuart Broad battling a knee injury.
England, who have not won a one-day series in India since 1984-85, will bank on inspirational captain Kevin Pietersen to lift the side after crashing for 98 in a practice match in Mumbai on Tuesday.
The South Africa-born Pietersen, who replaced Michael Vaughan as captain after the third Test against South Africa in August, won the final Test before thumping the Proteas 4-0 in the one-day series.
England lost the Stanford millions to the West Indies in the winner-take-all game in Antigua on November 1, but coach Peter Moores was confident of taking advantage of India's untimely switch to one-day cricket.
England will also play two Test matches after the one-day series ends on December 2.
England: Kevin Pietersen (captain), Alastair Cook, Luke Wright, Ian Bell, Paul Collingwood, Andrew Flintoff, Owais Shah, Ravi Bopara, Matt Prior, James Anderson, Stuart Broad, Stephen Harmison, Samit Patel, Graeme Swann.
India: Mahendra Dhoni (capt), Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Rohit Sharma, Yusuf Pathan, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Munaf Patel, Pragyan Ojha, Rudra Pratap Singh, Virat Kohli, Murali Vijay.