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India want more of the same from star duo

India are banking on a continuation of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma's prolific form at the top of the order in tomorrow's Champions Trophy final against England.

The two openers have piled up exactly 500 runs between them in the four successive victories which have carried India into their showdown with the hosts - and made them favourites to win at Edgbaston.

Dhawan, in particular, has been the star of the tournament so far but his first-wicket partner Rohit has been no slouch either, boosting a combined aggregate which is 200 runs in excess of their opposite numbers Alastair Cook and Ian Bell.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is well aware of the new-ball threat posed specifically by James Anderson in his home conditions, having seen his team struggle so consistently against England's premier pace bowler in their Test series whitewash in this country two years ago.

India ended that tour on a low in one-day internationals cricket too, losing 3-0 in the World Cup format.

Less than two months later, however, they beat England 5-0 in a one-day international series in India - and have since beaten them again at the start of this year.

It is a form line which leaves room for cautious optimism for both teams tomorrow, when India's openers will once again be out to set the tone.

"England are a very good team, especially the bowlers," said Dhoni.

"(But) our top order have done well and played some of the best bowlers in world cricket so far in the tournament.

"So I think they are quite well-prepared for the English bowlers."

India's other strength in victories over South Africa, West Indies, Pakistan and then Sri Lanka in the semi-final has been more of a surprise.

Seamers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav and Ishant Sharma have excelled themselves.

Dhoni, however, is hoping spin twins Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja can have an impact too.

"I think it's very important that they hunt in pairs, and I think that's what they have been doing really well so far," he said.

"When Jadeja puts the pressure on, Ashwin gets the wicket; when Ashwin puts the pressure, Jadeja gets the wicket.

"Both of them are very crucial for each other's success and for the success of the team."

One more match will define the campaign for them and everyone else, and may help erase India's unwanted memories of summer 2011 when they followed their spring World Cup success by losing 7-0 to England in the Test and ODI formats.

"You go through ups and downs," said Dhoni.

"We accept the fact that we didn't do really well in that series but we have (so far) in this one."

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