Gwalior ODI: India set to bag series

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src='' class='caption'> Another nail-biting match is in store for the cricket fans. India and Pakistan will clash in the fourth day-night ODI in Gwalior.

Updated: November 15, 2007 08:39 IST
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Another nail-biting match is in store for the cricket fans. India and Pakistan will clash in the fourth day-night ODI at the Captain Roop Singh Stadium in Gwalior on Thursday.

It is a crunch time for Pakistan as they take on India in the fourth game. If India win, they would wrap up the series, which Pakistan would surely like to defend.

High morale

Terming the fourth cricket one-dayer as a "crucial" match, middle order batsman Robin Uthappa said a confident India would like to clinch the series against Pakistan in Gwalior on Thursday.

Uthappa said the match could go either way but the Indians were deriving confidence from the fact that they again snatched the lead at Kanpur and their morale was high.

"I think it is a huge confidence ahead of the fourth one-dayer. The last two games could have been gone either way and we did well to come back in Kanpur after the Mohali game.

"The team's morale is pretty high and we are looking forward to the match," he told reporters on the eve of the match.

Asked if the players were under pressure to wrap up the series against the arch-rivals, the Karnataka batsman said the challenge would bring out the best of the team.

"Pressure is good in any format of the game. Against Australia it brought the best out of us and made us ready for this series. There is pressure in this series as well, as it still can go either way.

"But we are confident of doing well, as we are on top of our game," he said.

Great intensity

Uthappa refused to agree that the ongoing India-Pakistan series was lacking in intensity.

"I can promise that nothing has taken out the punch from an Indo-Pak series. It is still intense and still hostile as it used to be on the field. We still play it tough on the field."

Uthappa supported the rotation policy being adopted in the team, saying "a lot of cricket is being played these days and obviously you need to take some time off from it.

"A fast bowler runs almost 12 kilometers a during one match. You body needs to recover from that stress and workload.

"We certainly need some rest because we have been playing a lot of cricket in the last six months or so."

Asked about his favourite position in the batting order, Uthappa said he would play at any spot the team wanted him to bat.

"As long as I am contributing to the team's cause, it does not matter to me where I am batting. I can bat anywhere."

Playing to win

Team manager Lalchand Rajput said the team would play to win the series but the final XI was yet to be decided.

"Our aim is to win the series. If we can finish the task here on the morrow, it will be great. We will decide the playing XI later, after assessing all the factors," he said.

Rajput said it was a high-scoring track and dew would be a factor as the match would be played under floodlights.

He said, the pitch is good and we think the game would be a high-scoring one. There will be the dew factor in the second session like it had happened in Mohali.

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