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India look for fresh start, take on England in tri-series game

Brisbane: Jolted by the opening loss to Australia, India would look to plug the bowling loopholes and ensure a stronger batting display when they take on England in their second ODI tri-series cricket match here tomorrow.

In Brisbane, both sides will be looking to register their first win in this tournament with the hosts having stolen a march on them with two successive wins.

Australia beat England by three wickets in Sydney on Friday and then beat India by four wickets in Melbourne on Sunday. They took a bonus point from the first game as well and sit pretty on nine points from two games.

In this series, billed as the dress rehearsal for the upcoming ODI World Cup, these two sides will be keen to get a win under their belt. India can take some solace from their match against Australia in the sense that they pushed the hosts a lot closer.

By their own admission, the Australian batsmen were going for that bonus point against England and thus lost quick wickets in the middle order. The repeated mini-collapse against the Indian bowling was no such fluke.

Two bowlers played a key role in squeezing the run-rate, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Axar Patel. It was quite a positive for the Indian team, reeling under the inconsistency shown by their attack in the preceding Test series.

They missed the medium-pacer in the first three Tests and when he returned in Sydney, he was way off-colour, down on pace and lacking in match fitness. A five-day rest since and lot more bowling in the nets has done him good.

Yesterday’s performance should be another boost for him to return to form for the Men in Blue need him to work his magic with the new ball in the next two months. In only his first international outing in Australia, the young left-arm spinner Axar impressed with his control as skipper MS Dhoni even opted to hold back a few of his overs and bring Patel back later during the end overs of the chase.

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