India will do well to challenge the world’s current No. 1 team in ODI cricket on their home turf, but that 2-1 victory in the recent three-game twenty20 series suggests that they’ll have no problem in doing so. England may have taken down a depleted-Australian outfit in a lopsided affair just recently, India on the other hand will be hard to handle as they look to nudge their opposition off the ODI podium in what would be a huge series upset.
It’s vital that India take note of Australia’s faults from the previous ODI series where men were made to look like boys in a floorless performance from the Poms. Runs were the key issue, Australia just couldn’t match England’s firepower as the likes of Jason Roy, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow sent them packing early in the series. With that being said, India will no doubt be backing their superstar wielders of the willow to match the efforts of their counterparts in what should be an entertaining contest throughout the series. KL Rahul and skipper Virat Kohli will be the main two guys to keep a close eye on, and I’ll explain why. Clearly still young in his International career, KL Rahul brings an abundance of freshness to this side with his superior ball-striking where he’s barely been caught taking a backward step. He’s a batsman that tends to throw all his cards on the table for the ultimate reward, not too dissimilar to Rohit Sharma. India will again look to their skipper to pave the trail for them given his ultra-consistency though; his stats reflect a modern day Tendulkar which is just about the highest praise you can receive. Expect to see some classic-Virat knocks in this series, he can bat on just about any surface in the world and still maintain his 55+ average. England will almost certainly attack India’s line-up with their spinning duo of Ali & Rashid just like they did against Australia, but the Indians are more accustomed to playing spin which might work in their favour. The visitors will also be relying on MS Dhoni to match Jos Buttler as that hard-hitting option to boost the run rate after the midway stage of the innings. The question on everyone’s mind is “can India take down England’s batting unit?” Looking at their attack, it’s certainly doable. Expect Hardik Pandya with his variations in pace and the spin of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal to have an influence in this match.
England have their work cut out for them in this series, they’ve already suffered a minor stumble losing a three-match T20 series against an Indian outfit that’s come to play. It’s no secret that England has been just about untouchable in this format for quite some time, their team structure is solid with some of the key contributors in menacing form. Spin-duo Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid were just about the most dominant performers against Australia at home not long ago, they set up most of England’s victories as they broke through the top & middle order with relative ease. This time around they’ll find it a bit tougher, up against a side that plays slow bowling better than just about any other team in the world. The return of all-rounder Ben Stokes should boost both the batting & bowling department, especially the bowling given his knack for taking wickets. Ominous signs that Jason Roy will look to target both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav could force Kohli to introduce the spinners a tad earlier than expected, the English opener dominated the Aussie seamers for the best part of five matches as well as a T20. With the likes of Bairstow, Roy and Buttler constantly hammering the opposition, Eoin Morgan and Joe Root have somewhat flown under the radar. We know how prolific that pair are at their best, and this might just be the series where they need them to stand up if some of their major weaponry goes down early. Wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler became the human highlight reel against Australia where he ramped, scooped and flat-batted the bowlers to all areas. Buttler’s ODI average has now ticked over 40 and he’s looking in career-best form, only Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow have been more damaging in this English line-up. This match is expected to be a high scoring one if the past two completed ODI’s at this venue have any relevance, England have dished up totals of 444/3 against Pakistan and 481/6 just recently against Australia. Expect another run-fest at Trent Bridge!
Top 5 fantasy picks | England | 1st ODI | Trent Bridge, Nottingham
- Jason Roy
- Jonny Bairstow
- Adil Rashid
- Ben Stokes
- Liam Plunkett
Wildcard pick – Eoin Morgan
Top 5 fantasy picks | India | 1st ODI | Trent Bridge, Nottingham
- Virat Kohli
- Hardik Pandya
- Kuldeep Yadav
- Rohit Sharma
- Yuzvendra Chahal
Wildcard pick – KL Rahul
England (possible) – 1. Jason Roy 2. Jonny Bairstow 3. Joe Root 4. Eoin Morgan © 5. Ben Stokes 6. Jos Buttler (wk) 7. Moeen Ali 8. David Willey/Tom Curran 9. Liam Plunkett 10. Adil Rashid 11. Mark Wood.
India (possible) – 1. Shikhar Dhawan 2. Rohit Sharma 3. KL Rahul 4. Virat Kohli © 5. Suresh Raina/Dinesh Karthik 6. MS Dhoni (wk) 7. Hardik Pandya 8. Kuldeep Yadav 9. Bhuvneshwar Kumar 10. Yuzvendra Chahal 11. Umesh Yadav.