Trent Bridge: India and England will once again be up against each other on Friday at the Oval in the second one-dayer of the Natwest series. Atleast in terms of statistics alone, it's advantage England. England enjoys an outstanding record at The Oval, having won 14 out of 22 matches played there. It has a winning percentage of 63.64. India on the other hand, is still struggling with their weak batting line-up. Fall of wickets All his fans out there in India are missing Sachin, not just because he is out the game for while, but also because the Indian team badly needs him on the field. It's now eleven games in a row that the Indian openers have failed to produce a partnership of 50 runs. Virender Sehwag's dismal form continued and the lack of consistency at the top of the order has now rubbed off on to the middle order as well. England's tactics of pitching short at the Indian batsmen worked in their favour. They first fed Sourav Ganguly with juicy half volleys followed by a bodyline short-pitched ball, which ultimately led to the fall of his wicket. VVS Laxman played some good strokes on the onside, but was beaten outside the off stump innumerable times. He finally knicked one to the keeper. Dravid too fell for the short-pitched stuff. And with the top order back in the pavilion, it was up to Mohammad Kaif to deliver. Time for action And it is time for Ganguly and his team to rework their strategy when they take on England in the 2nd ODI at the Oval. India and England have played 5 times on this ground. Engalnd have won 3 of them, India won 1 and one match was a no result. The last time they played was in the NatWest challenge in 2002. The winners once again were England. Team with a spirit England's performance on the other hand has been outstanding under skipper Michael Vaughn. They now have a team who play to win. Stephen Harmison has become a potent weapon and is ranked among the top bowlers in the world today. And he proved that he is the best when he took a hatrick. He is the second England player to do so and the first one James Anderson was seen applauding from the pavilion. And the inspiration for these outstanding performances is this man called Andrew Flintoff. Flintoff is now the world's leading all rounder and he has brought the crowds back to the game in England. Every time he comes into bat, he makes sure that he dismisses the ball and the opposing team out of play.
Topics : Cricket