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Team India looks to create history, England save face

Written by: Staff

Guwahati, Apr 8 (UNI) Having clinched the ODI series, history beckons Dravid's devils as they take on England, playing to salvage a semblance of respectability, in the fifth ODI at the idyllic Nehru Stadium here tomorrow.

The series will be remembered not only for the spectacular breaking to pieces of the Ashes' winners, but also for the number of milestones the hosts have set on their path to glory.

The men in blue have already eclipsed Clive Lloyd'e West Indies' vaunted record of chasing 14 matches to victory on a trot, when they roasted the English team in Kochi. In the same match, they also equalled the Indian record of winning eight consecutive games, a record set during 1985 when India won the Benson and Hedges Cup and the four Nation Sharjah Tournament under the stewardship of Sunil Gavaskar and Kapil Dev respectively.

Now is the time to attain new highs and dream bigger. A win at Guwahati means another milestone pocketed and a step closer to making a clean sweep of a full ODI series that the Indian team has unable to do ever since they cut their teeth into the shorter version of the game in 1974. The unpredictability of the ODI is a bigger odd in case of this series than the England side that has been done and dusted with.

Virender Sehwag will lead India in the next two one-day internationals after the selectors decided to rest Rahul Dravid.

Following the series-clinching four-wicket win at Kochi, the skipper has been given a break. V R V Singh comes into the squad in place of Dravid.

The decision is a vote of confidence for Sehwag, who is suffering a poor run of form. He has made just 74 runs in the series and has been troubled by England's impressive use of the short ball.

Sehwag has captained twice -- against Bangladesh in 2003 and Sri Lanka last year -- in the ODIs, and won both matches. So Indi will be hoping another win from the stand-in skipper. He has consistently threatened to score but failed to put a big knock on the board.


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