x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

'India will adapt to ODIs'

India are confident that they can switch from Test mode for the limited overs series against England.

The India captain MS Dhoni refuses to bill the India-England series as a face-off between himself and Kevin Pietersen.
The India captain MS Dhoni refuses to bill the India-England series as a face-off between himself and Kevin Pietersen.

RAJKOT // India are confident of being able to switch from their stunning Test series triumph against Australia and immediately focus on the one-day series starting against England today. Just three days after completing a memorable 2-0 series triumph in Nagpur over Australia, India have already moved to Rajkot in preparation for the opener to the seven-match one-day series.

It will involve an immediate change in tactics and tempo from the Test series, but the captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is confident his squad can rise to the challenge and continue their momentum. "It's tough, but as an international cricketer you have to do it," Dhoni said. "It doesn't matter if there's no gap between series, you have to be able to switch from a Test series to a one-day series. "One of the good things about the India squad is that half this squad doesn't play in the Tests so they are still fresh - if it's the same side for both formats, it can be quite difficult switching from one to the other, particularly if there are only three overs in between."

Indeed, with Gautam Gambhir being banned for the last Test and Ishant Sharma unlikely to feature because of an ankle problem, only five players from the final Test in Nagpur are likely to play in tomorrow's opener - Dhoni, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Murali Vijay. It is that influx of new players that Dhoni believes could hold the key to India's success in this series and continue a proud record of staying unbeaten in home one-day series against England since 1984-5. If the Indian media are to be believed, the series will depend on the two captains, with the flamboyant styles of Dhoni and Kevin Pietersen being regarded as the deciding factor.

But as influential as both captains are to their sides' fortunes, Dhoni believes the key to the outcome of the series will be much more than just a personal battle between him and Pietersen. "If that's the case, we might as well play a game of chess together in mine or KP's room," he said. Without the injured Sharma, India are expected to play RP Singh in his place. * PA Sport