On a high after an impressive Twenty20 series win, an upbeat India will eye another dominant performance against hosts England in a three- match ODI series, which can be termed as a ‘dry run’ ahead of the World Cup next year.
With cricket’s blue riband tournament scheduled to be held in UK next year, the ODI series will give Virat Kohli an ideal opportunity to get a drift about the conditions that his men are expected to encounter at exactly same time next year.
While India will be buoyed by their 2-1 T20 series win, England, the top ranked ODI team in world cricket, come into the series having crushed a below-par Australia 5-0 in their last bilateral engagement.
England have been one of the finest 50 over sides in recent times and India will have their task cut out against a batting line-up comprising Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan. Add Ben Stokes to it and England bear a formidable look.
English brand of cricket
It is a reputation built on fearless, attacking cricket that has seen England win 46 out of 69 ODIs since a disastrous 2015 World Cup. Their last bilateral series’ defeat came in India in January 2017, with only a freak one-off loss to Scotland in the interim.
The series will also enable Indian team management to mix and match the various combinations, keeping World Cup in mind.
KL Rahul’s stupendous form has been a happy headache for the team management and there is a possibility that the captain might come at No 4 in order to give Rahul a chance to make optimum use of his current form.
The seasoned pair of Suresh Raina and Mahendra Singh Dhoni along with all-rounder Hardik Pandya are expected to form the middle-order.
Yuzvendra Chahal is a certainty as the wrist spinner and Kuldeep Yadav, who has created all sorts of doubts in the minds of the batsmen, may just comeback into the playing XI as the Trent Bridge ground is much bigger than the one at Bristol.
If the team management thinks of playing an extra pacer, Siddarth Kaul or Shardul Thakur might come into play.
If Bhuvneshwar Kumar recovers from the stiff back, he will be sharing the new ball with Umesh Yadav.
For England, the series against Australia was a real morale booster and the team scored a world record total of 481 when they played at the venue that will host the first ODI.
The hosts have a penchant for high scores. Since that World Cup in Australia-New Zealand, this English batting line-up has accumulated 300-plus scores 31 times in 69 matches, inclusive of 23 wins.PTI
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