England go in search of one-day inspiration

England's cricketers will never forget what they experience over the course of the next three weeks. There will be times when they may wish they could, after Virender Sehwag or Mahendra Singh Dhoni has carted them into a packed stand for six, but there are very few sporting events that match the passion and noise of a one-day international in India.

A cacophony of sound will hit the England team the moment they step foot on each of the seven venues they are scheduled to play at and, if India are on top, it will remain there throughout the day. It is 14 years since an England touring side last won a one-day series against decent opposition - Zimbabwe and Bangladesh are exempt - and they are hoping that this frenzy of excitement will inspire them to great deeds.

Andrew Flintoff's side will draw confidence from the 212-run victory in Bombay, but winning the one-day series here will be a far harder task than drawing level in the Tests.

There are many theories on why England perform better in Test than one-day cricket, the most obvious being that the techniques of the players are better suited to the longer form of the game. The supposition is correct, but one of the biggest influences on the England one-day side is the nation's attitude towards limited-over cricket.

In England Test cricket is considered to be the ultimate form of the game, and quite rightly so. The performance of the Test side gives a true reflection on the health of the game in England but, as a consequence, one-day cricket has developed an after the Lord Mayor's Show feel to it.

This is particularly the case when England are abroad. It is not that the players do not care about playing limited-over cricket. They do. It is just that one-day series are always tagged on to the end of physically demanding three or five Test tours, and they involve an enormous amount of travel. It is inevitable and understandable that by the time these matches come round the players who played in the Test matches are shattered and counting down the days until they get home.

In a bizarre twist, the 16 players who will play for England over the coming weeks should be less affected by these issues than those who are not here. The replacements for Michael Vaughan, Marcus Trescothick, Ashley Giles, Simon Jones and Stephen Harmison are young and enthusiastic, and have been given an unexpected opportunity to impress on possibly the biggest stage of them all. And who knows, a couple of match-winning performances here could push them straight into the reckoning for next year's World Cup in the Caribbean.

"We have not performed as consistently as we would have liked in one-day cricket, particularly away from home," admitted Andrew Strauss. "We need to build on the momentum of the Test win in Bombay. India are a very good one-day side and this series will give a good indication of where we are at.

"There should be no problem with motivation. One-day cricket is very big in India and there will be full-houses wherever we go. I have never played one-day cricket here but the guys that have say the atmosphere inside the grounds is unbelievable, unlike anything else you will ever experience. India is one of the places where you want to play one-day cricket and hopefully it will inspire us."

In preparation for tomorrow's opening encounter in Delhi, England have played only one warm-up game. England's five-run defeat in Jaipur will have no bearing on tomorrow's game, and the team, which will contain Flintoff - due back from paternity leave this morning - Strauss, and Geraint Jones, will be much stronger. But England will need to adapt quickly if they are to avoid being caught out by an Indian team with a point to prove.

The hosts have had their own fitness problems. Sachin Tendulkar will miss the series with a shoulder problem but Virender Sehwag yesterday reported himself fit to play.

India (probable): R Dravid (capt), V Sehwag, S Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Mohammad Kaif, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (wkt), I K Pathan, A Agarkar, Harbhajan Singh, S Sreesanth, M M Patel.

England (probable): A Flintoff (capt), A J Strauss, M J Prior, I R Bell, K P Pietersen, P D Collingwood, G O Jones (wkt), I D Blackwell, Kabir Ali, L E Plunkett, J M Anderson.

Dhoni and Blackwell: Two to watch in Delhi

MAHENDRA SINGH DHONI

The Indian wicketkeeper failed to live up to his reputation during the Test series, but one-day cricket - and a restriction on short-pitched balls - will suit his game. Dhoni has hit 40 sixes in 35 one-dayers, a strike rate of 109 and an average of 54. Good luck, bowlers GETTY IMAGES

IAN BLACKWELL

This is a make or break trip for Blackwell, who has the potential to be a matchwinner in one-day cricket. The low, slow nature of the pitches should suit his front foot game. England will need intelligent, quick runs from him at seven or eight. Is he up to it? We will see. GETTY IMAGES

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
a clockwork orange, stanley kubrick
film
Extras
The Tesco Hudl2: An exceptional Android tablet that's powerful, well-built and outstanding value
indybest

News
Sarah Silverman (middle) with sister Reform Rabbi Susan Silverman (right) and sister actress Laura Silverman (left) at Jerusalem's Western Wall for feminist Hanuka candle-lighting ceremony
peopleControversial comedian stages pro-equality Hanukkah lighting during a protest at Jerusalem's Wailing Wall
Sport
After another poor series in Sri Lanka, Alastair Cook claimed all players go through a lean period
cricket
Arts and Entertainment
The Bach Choir has been crowned the inaugural winner of Sky Arts’ show The Great Culture Quiz
arts + ents140-year-old choir declared winner of Sky Arts' 'The Great Culture Quiz'
Life and Style
food + drinkAuthor DBC Pierre presents his guide to the morning after
Life and Style
food + drink
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans appeal: 'You look for someone who's an inspiration and try to be like them'

Homeless Veterans appeal

In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
Could cannabis oil reverse the effects of cancer?

Could cannabis oil reverse effects of cancer?

As a film following six patients receiving the controversial treatment is released, Kate Hilpern uncovers a very slippery issue
The Interview movie review: You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here

The Interview movie review

You can't see Seth Rogen and James Franco's Kim Jong Un assassination film, but you can read about it here
Serial mania has propelled podcasts into the cultural mainstream

How podcasts became mainstream

People have consumed gripping armchair investigation Serial with a relish typically reserved for box-set binges
Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up for hipster marketing companies

Jesus Christ has become an unlikely pin-up

Kevin Lee Light, aka "Jesus", is the newest client of creative agency Mother while rival agency Anomaly has launched Sexy Jesus, depicting the Messiah in a series of Athena-style poses
Rosetta space mission voted most important scientific breakthrough of 2014

A memorable year for science – if not for mice

The most important scientific breakthroughs of 2014
Christmas cocktails to make you merry: From eggnog to Brown Betty and Rum Bumpo

Christmas cocktails to make you merry

Mulled wine is an essential seasonal treat. But now drinkers are rediscovering other traditional festive tipples. Angela Clutton raises a glass to Christmas cocktails
5 best activity trackers

Fitness technology: 5 best activity trackers

Up the ante in your regimen and change the habits of a lifetime with this wearable tech
Paul Scholes column: It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves

Paul Scholes column

It's a little-known fact, but I have played one of the seven dwarves
Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Fifa's travelling circus once again steals limelight from real stars

Club World Cup kicked into the long grass by the continued farce surrounding Blatter, Garcia, Russia and Qatar
Frank Warren column: 2014 – boxing is back and winning new fans

Frank Warren: Boxing is back and winning new fans

2014 proves it's now one of sport's biggest hitters again
Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas