7 yrs on, city set for international match
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India's skipper M S Dhoni's opening line during the pre-match press conference made team India's priorities amply clear. "Twenty20 is a different format, we have done well in this format and we are hoping to do well with a fresh squad," said the skipper.
The Men in Blue definitely need some winning cheer after losing their first test series at home in eight years. India can take heart from the fact that they earned a comprehensive win the last time they faced the English in the World Twenty20 in Sri Lanka. The English side wears a completely refurbished look as seven new players come into the side which will be led by stand-in skipper Eoin Morgan. England's regular T20 captain Stuart Broad has flown back to England due to a bruised left heel.
Dhoni was all-praise for the Subrata Roy Sahara stadium terming the facilities as "fantastic". The captain was cagey about his reading of the pitch but said he thought that it would be a good track for batsmen.
"It looks like a good surface. I think batsmen might just enjoy themselves here," he said. A good turnout is expected at the Subrata Roy Sahara stadium amidst a general discontent over high ticket-prices as Pune will be hosting an international match after a gap of seven years. India last played in Pune against Sri Lanka in 2005 at Nehru Stadium.
India will be looking to end a rather dismal 2012, which saw the team thrashed in Australia, a disappointing World T20 campaign and the Test series loss against England with a victory. Captain Morgan said he hoped his young English unit would take heart from the Test team's victory over India and display the same aggression and sense of purpose when it takes the field on Thursday.