Eng v Ind live: Curtain down on wretched tour; 5th ODI, Cardiff

Duncan Fletcher is not known for his Churchillian speeches or rallying calls but even the India coach will be imploring his charges to give it one more effort today. Plenty of time to relax on the plane home lads, but now is the moment to give that last 100 overs of effort.

There are only three survivors from the beginning of this wretched tour. Only Raina, Dhoni, and Dravid, who will play his 344th and last One Day International today, were there at the start of the opening Test at Lord’s on July 21.

They of course were whitewashed in the Test series 4-0 and defeat today will mean a 3-0 reversal in the NatWest Series.

So, it is understandable that there was a stark difference in the two camps’ approach today. Many of the England players were out netting at least two hours before the start of this sold-out fifth clash, but little activity in the Indian camp until around 60 minutes later.

Remarkably, Alastair Cook has won his fifth consecutive toss of the series with the England captain deciding to bowl first. He said he did not want his bowlers bowling with a wet ball in the September dew this evening.

England hand a debut to Jonny Bairstow in three changes from the tied match at Lord’s. Bairstow is in for the injured Ben Stokes (finger) , while James Anderson is rested and Stuart Broad (shoulder) has been ruled out. In comes Samit Patel and Jade Dernbach.

India make the one change – no Praveen Kumar, so Vinay Kumar comes in.
Ironically, it was all set fair for “Wet Wales” to stage the only unaffected game of the series ….. until it started raining heavily three minutes before the start.

Glamorgan were hoping for a full game in their bid to stage an Ashes Test in either 2013 or 2015. The county is desperate to repeat the show they put on in the first Ashes Test in 2009 and a successful staging today could help them when the ECB make their decision on September 22 – next Thursday.

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