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India look to clinch ODI series

Written by: Staff
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Kochi, Apr 4 (UNI) Having won the first three one-dayers at Delhi, Faridabad and Goa, India will be looking to clinch the series by winning the fourth match against England on April 6 here.

The Nehru Stadium here, the venue of the match, has always been a happy hunting ground for the hosts and a special one for Sachin Tendulkar, who, however, will not be seen in action as he is recuperating from a shoulder surgery in London.

Going by the history and present form, the home team start as firm favourites to secure an unassailable 4-0 lead in the series.

A rich treat is in store for the cricket buffs in this football-crazy city, as the pitch is expected to favour the batsmen as compared to the slow wickets at Delhi and Faridabad.

And if local lad S Sreesanth, who was dropped for the Goa match, is named in the playing eleven, the atmosphere at the stadium would no doubt be electric.

The stadium has a reputation of being a batsman's paradise.

In the four games so far staged here, on three occasions the score went past 300 and five batsmen have scored hundreds.

Though the 22-yard strip here would be a nightmare for bowlers, one person who would like to take this pitch and carry it around with him wherever he goes is Sachin Tendulkar.

The Kerala Cricket Association (KCA) is mulling with the idea of bidding for Test status for the venue, which was put on the international cricket map when it hosted the first match on April 1, 1998, in which India defeated the Steve Waugh-led Australians by 41 runs.

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