Updated: March 24, 2021 9:37:47 am
India take on world champion England in a three-match ODI series starting with the 1st ODI on Tuesday.
The series is particularly important for the 35-year-old Shikhar Dhawan, who will open alongside Rohit Sharma in the first match, as confirmed by skipper Virat Kohli before the match. With the management having plenty of options in (Shubman Gill) and outside (Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal) the squad for the opening slot, it will be a litmus test for ‘Gabbar’ to prove himself in the lung-opener.
It is also expected that both KL Rahul, who is not likely to feature at the top of the order, and Rishabh Pant, after turning things around spectacularly since the brilliant showing Down Under, would be part of the playing XI. They would have a big role in the middle-order along with the redoubtable Hardik Pandya. There could be a toss-up between Mumbaikars Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav, for one spot in the playing XI. Yadav proved himself to be quite a power-hitter in the T20 series, notching up a blistering half century in his maiden international appearance.
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 22, 2021
The bowling attack is expected to be spearheaded by Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who picked four wickets in the T20 series, and the new ball will be shared by Shardul Thakur. Thakur claimed eight wickets in the T20 series. Spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar are expected to be preferred over Krunal Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav. Also, a fit-again Pandya would be the fifth bowler, but it remains to be seen how many overs he can bowl.
On the other hand, England would also be keen to end the tour on a high after suffering defeats in the Tests (1-3) and the T20 series (2-3).
And for it to happen, skipper Eoin Morgan’s role with the bat will be vital. The likes of Jos Buttler and the swashbuckling Jason Roy will have to fire in unison and all-rounder Ben Stokes will have to step up with both the bat and ball.
England pacer Mark Wood troubled the Indian batters with his pace and in the absence of an injured Jofra Archer, he would have to shoulder greater responsibility along with Chris Jordan and the young Sam Curran.
Predicted Playing XIs
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), KL Rahul, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal
England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Eoin Morgan (C), Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Chris Jordan, Mark Wood
Taking back happy memories from Ahmedabad 🤘👏
— BCCI (@BCCI) March 20, 2021
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(w), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Yuzvendra Chahal, Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul, Washington Sundar, Shubman Gill, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Kuldeep Yadav
England: Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w), Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Sam Billings, Reece Topley, Matthew Parkinson
(With PTI inputs)
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