The recent ODI series between India and England is anything to go by, we surely are in for another humdinger of a contest. Both teams are blessed with a bevy of big hitters, for whom no target is beyond reach. A series of tall scores, incredible chases and frenetic finishes summed up the series. In doing so, it had also shattered a few records and illustrated how difficult life is for bowlers in the game’s shorter formats.
Just to put things into perspective, more than 2,000 runs were scored in the three ODIs, a record for the highest aggregate in a three-match series. Not just that, this was only the third instance in the history of ODI cricket when as many as six totals in excess of 300 were scored in a three-match rubber. So prolific were the batsmen from both sides that England captain Morgan jokingly said after the victory in the dead rubber in Kolkata:”For a bunch of sloggers, we didn’t perform that badly.” Though their core team remains the same, Virat will know how dangerous England can be in the game’s shortest format.
Going into this series, the Indian captain will not have the services of his two frontline spin bowlers — Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja — both rested. They have been replaced by leg-spinner Amit Mishra and off-spinner Parvez Rasool. On January 26, the whole of Kanpur will be rooting for their state hero Raina, who returns to the India squad after a 10-month hiatus. Just like it has embraced the chaotic traffic, the city of Kanpur now gears up to greet cricket’s shortest and chaotic avatar with utmost glee.