With the start of the ODI series, England faces the same bleak past that they had before the test series started against India of not winning a test for a long time, forget about the series. Even in ODIs they last won the home ODI series in 2012 June vs Australia. Since then South Africa (drawn), New Zealand, Australia and Sri Lanka (all three won) have put question marks on them. But England will hope India is again their lucky bunny that makes them look very strong team. On the other hand, India is waiting since 1990 to win a bilateral ODI series at England.
Interestingly even England has failed to win a bilateral ODI series in India since 1984/85, the only time they won. Yet, in the last visit they won the Test series, and came close to winning the ODI series. They did improve, can India improve now?
In 2011, after whitewash in Test series, the hope was pinned to ODI as we had world class heroes in Dhoni, Kohli and others. But the only win for India in 5 ODIs was a moral win as they managed to play a tie at Lord’s, Rain washed the first ODI and England won 3-0. Indian tour remained winless.
Dhoni was declared Player of the Series of 2011 ODI series in England, despite India losing 3-0. He was the lone fighter along with some help from Kohli. He felt as alone in ODI series as Dravid felt during the humiliating whitewash of of 2011 where he got Man of the Series.
Now in 2014, India has tasted win. But the remaining three defeats and the series loss was nothing less than humiliation. It is tough for fans to decide which series was more humiliating 2011 or 2014!!
In 2011, even ODI did not help the Indian cause. In 2014, the Indian team’s only hope is their excellent record being the current World Champion. They won the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013 when they last played ODI in England. The icing on the cake was defeating England in the final. But, India will remember that they have always been good in tournaments, especially against England and that is how they have registered 54% ODI win against England, which is their second best after Sri Lanka against a test playing nation.
Even for England, India is their biggest trouble in ODI after Australia. They have the maximum loss percentage against these two teams. Yet, England knows that in bilateral series at home they have the edge winning 6 of the 8 series played so far. Even the last series they won convincingly.
Cook is the most prolific English batsman against India in ODI. Rest of the team does not fare bad as their last visit to India proved where they made Dhoni and his men sweat even in spin-friendly conditions.
The tension is more on Dhoni and India. The repeat of 2011 series is for all to see. They have disrespected their bowler even if they did good job in test matches. In ODIs, Indian bowling has always been poor. So that leaves to the question, will it be again Dhoni and Kohli show? If yes, you do not need to watch the series as result will not be different.
Dhoni is known for his magic. Abroad, especially in bilateral series his wand fails to perform. With 2015 World Cup approaching, with demand of his head in Test matches, and most importantly at least now India will hope that Dhoni’s men play for pride as there is enough humiliation happening twice. Can they do the magic together is the big Question?
Based on current situation where the head is already down due to repeated humiliations, it appears difficult. But, under Dhoni India has achieved unbelievable reputation. They have done the unexpected so often.
No, the reference is not towards the darker side of creating history in losses. The reference is towards world cup wins, some series wins. Let us hope Dhoni and his men enter the field to bring smile back to the lips of Indian fans.
Even if they don’t, what will the fans do? Ask for head, or just console self by saying India has no replacement. NewsChoupal team hopes you are not left to pose that question again, and instead enjoy the wins that India will achieve during the ODI series.