No Tendulkar as England bowl in the first ODI
Alastair Cook won the toss and chose to bowl first under cloudy skies in Chester-le-Street, as England launched their bid for a sixth consecutive victory in all formats over an Indian team lacking the services of their veteran Sachin Tendulkar.
An audible groan was emitted from the crowd when Tendulkar's absence was confirmed, which takes the number of Indian absentees from the World Cup final in Mumbai six months ago to six - including each of the regular top three. Ajinkya Rahane will make his ODI debut after impressing in the Twenty20 at Old Trafford, and will resume his opening partnership with Parthiv Patel.
"A 10.15am start means the ball normally does a bit early on," said Cook at the toss, who confirmed that Durham's local lad Ben Stokes will be making his debut in England's middle order. One man who will be missing out is Graeme Swann, who has failed to recover from a virus. The senior spinner duties now pass to Nottinghamshire's Samit Patel.
So far this summer, England have already had the better of one of the World Cup finalists, Sri Lanka, and on the evidence of India's tour so far, they will be expecting to emulate that achievement in the coming weeks. A new-look team has no place for Kevin Pietersen, after the decision was taken to rest him for the remainder of the summer, but England's momentum and self-belief is sure to carry over, to some degree, from their Test series whitewash.
India's fortunes surely cannot slip any lower than they are at present. There were glimpses of a resurgent attitude in the Twenty20 defeat at Old Trafford, where the debutant Rahane showcased a technique and temperament that bodes well for future challenges, and where even the exposed Raina found a method to combat his short-ball uncertainties - his baseball smack for six off Stuart Broad wasn't entirely convincing but mighty effective.
England 1 Alastair Cook (capt), 2 Craig Kieswetter (wk), 3 Jonathan Trott, 4 Ian Bell, 5 Eoin Morgan, 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Samit Patel, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 Stuart Broad, 10 James Anderson, 11 Jade Dernbach
India 1 Parthiv Patel, 2 Ajinkya Rahane, 3 Rahul Dravid, 4 Virat Kohli, 5 Rohit Sharma, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 MS Dhoni (capt/wk) 8 R Ashwin, 9 Praveen Kumar, 10 R Vinay Kumar, 11 Munaf Patel.