Can India’s ODI squad overcome the English challenge?

The Indian ODI squad will look to continue their momentum against an England side without the likes of Jofra Archer and Joe Root.

Hosts look to win ODI series against a depleted England team

India has been enjoying their dream phase in International Cricket, including an epic Test series win in Australia, a dominant Test series win at home, and a T20I series win, after an impressive comeback in the last two games. Can India’s ODI squad follow suit and triumph over Eoin Morgan’s men, who are missing key players such as Jofra Archer, Ben Stokes and Joe Root?

Learning from Down Under

India were outplayed by Australia in the ODI’s, as they failed to chase consecutive targets in the series, a situation in which they are comfortable more often than not. Being at home could help their cause against England, and they will look to put in a much better performance this series.

India did struggle against short-pitched bowling in Australia, with Shreyas Iyer and Mayank Agarwal amongst those exposed. England’s Mark Wood will likely cause concerns, particularly if there is good bounce and carry. India will be happy that Jofra Archer is not playing the series, in that regard.

Momentum on India’s side

India were expected to win the Test series at home against England. However, the visitors are the best T20I team in the world, and the 3-2 defeat will likely be hurting them. India, on the other hand, are in great form, in all formats and should start as slight favourites due to the momentum that they are carrying since their trip Down Under.

 

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One last chance for Shikhar Dhawan?

Shikhar Dhawan opened the batting in Australia but was later dropped from the playing XI during the T20Is against England. Moreover, with many options available in Shubman Gill (in India’s ODI squad) and Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Paddikal (outside India’s ODI squad), Dhawan may have a last chance to prove his worth in the side.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – NOVEMBER 27: Shikhar Dhawan of India hits the ball during the Dettol ODI Series cricket match between Australia and India at Sydney Cricket Ground on November 27, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Speed Media/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

With Virat Kohli confirming Dhawan’s presence in the playing XI in the press conference, the openers’ name has been trending in India. With so much experience in his favour, he could well return to form. Let’s see how the series progresses for him as an individual.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar to lead the bowling attack

With the likes of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami still missing from India’s ODI side, Bhuvneshwar Kumar will lead the attack against England. He was in good touch during the T20Is, having played a crucial part in India’s comeback victory in the series.

More importantly, he was handling the new ball really well, which is his forte. Kumar was able to swing the new ball both ways and he caused problems for the likes of Jason Roy and Jos Buttler. India will expect him to deliver the same quality in the ODI series.

End of the run-drought for Virat Kohli?

Despite scoring a mountain of runs, Kohli hasn’t registered an ODI century since 2019. His last and 43rd-century came against the West Indies (114 not out) at Port of Spain, in August 2019. The form isn’t really an issue for Kohli in limited-overs cricket, at least. The skipper averaged 57.66 in the ODI series against Australia.

However, with the standards that Kohli has set, fans and pundits expect centuries every series. In fact, if by any chance, Kohli wants to break the 100 centuries record, the next ton from his bat has to come as soon as possible.

 

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New faces in India’s ODI squad:

Having performed really well in the T20Is, Suryakumar Yadav will likely find a place in India’s ODI side this series. He will probably slot into the middle-order, if picked. However, India may decide to go with six bowling options instead, in which case he will sit out.

Moreover, rookie pacer Prasidh Krishna is set to make his debut in the series. Krishna enjoyed a good Vijay Hazare Trophy campaign for Karnataka, claiming 14 wickets in seven matches at an average of 24.5. Krunal Pandya is also added to the squad. He will compete with Washington Sundar for the all-rounder’s spot.

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