Team India started their tour of England with a 2-1 T20 Series win. The scoreline doesn’t do complete justice to the way the series panned out, with all matches being filled with topsy turvy moments for both sides. The focus, however, now shifts to the three-match One-Day International series between the sides, which happen to be the top two teams in the format.
From the Indian Dugout:
The Indian top order has found some form with KL Rahul and Rohit Sharma scoring tons in the first and third T20I respectively. Captain Virat Kohli has managed to play the role of an anchor with brilliance whenever needed by the team and Hardik Pandya has stepped up as a finisher. The only chink in the armour would be the untested lower-middle order as the likes of MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina haven’t got many opportunities to spend some time in the middle and face the English conditions. With candidates like KL Rahul, Manish Pandey and Suresh Raina, a big cloud hovers on the team management for the coveted number 4 spot in the batting line-up.
With Jasprit Bumrah ruled out for the ODI series and Bhuvneshwar doubtful for the 1st ODI, the onus will be on Umesh Yadav to lead the pace attack against the in-form English batsmen who would surely test the new-comers Siddarth Kaul and Deepak Chahar. The spin-twins, Kuldeep Yadav & Yuzvendra Chahal will be up for the challenge by taking some confidence ahead from the T20s.
A string of IPL games, one-off Test against Afghanistan, a T20 Series against Ireland and One T20 Series against England means that India would have to shift into ODI mode after 5 months (They last played an ODI against SA in February)
From the England Dugout:
A 2-1 defeat to India in T20s wouldn’t be the ideal benchmark to judge the form of the Poms as they come with a ravishing 5-0 whitewash victory against Australia under their belt. The England Opening Duo of Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy are in sublime form with the former being the highest run scorer in ODIs in 2018 and the latter having 3 centuries this year. With Joe Root, Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes in the middle and likes of Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali and David Willey, England would back themselves to chase down totals of 300+.
Plunkett’s experience, Willey’s ability to bowl at the death, Wood’s bounce and swing, Adil Rashid’s ability to take wickets at crucial moments and Moeen Ali ability to keep it tight makes England’s bowling attack look formidable. Addition of Ben Stokes to the team would give England the luxury of a 6th bowler in case any of the 5 bowlers are having a bad day.
India’s last 5 ODIs - WWLWW
England’s last 5 ODIs - WWWWW
With India coming from a 2-1 win over England in the T20s and England playing 6 bowlers and with batting till number 8, only time will tell who will be the World Number 1 ODI team by the end of the ODI series.