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Thursday, July 19, 2018

India vs England: ODI series in England a chance to assess our team before 2019 World Cup, says Rohit Sharma

Stating that the batsman-friendly pitches on offer won't determine the strategies, Rohit Sharma maintained that he expects nothing else but a high scoring series. 

By: Sports Desk | Updated: July 11, 2018 6:46:21 pm
India start as favourites against top-ranked England side. (Source: Reuters)

A confident team India led by Virat Kohli will face England for a three-match ODI series which begins with the first encounter at Trent Bridge on Thursday. After an emphatic win against the Three Lions in the T20I series, India start as favourites against top-ranked England side. However, vice-captain Rohit Sharma is no mood to take the opposition lightly and said that ODI presents itself as the perfect opportunity for India to access where it stands before the 2019 cricket world cup. Stating that the batsman-friendly pitches on offer won’t alter or determine the strategies of team India, Sharma maintained that he expects nothing else but a high scoring series.

“With the World Cup in England exactly a year later, in terms of preparations, it will be good for us to see where we stand as a team. What sort of combinations, targets can be available for us. What we need to do to move forward as a team. This tour brings another challenge for us,” Rohit said while addressing the media in a press conference in Nottingham.

“As a team, we have done well in English conditions. We have responded well to the challenges. This English team will put us under pressure. It will important for us, to play to stick to our strengths and strategies. Then we will be fine,” he added.

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The pitches in England and especially at Trent Bridge have been batsmen friendly but Sharma reiterated that it does not change the mindset of the players. “When you are playing on pitches like that you want to bat the second preferably. This team also prefers to chase, But toss isn’t our control. However, we don’t go out and bat to score 400 runs but rather analyze the situation after 30 overs and see what score can be put on,” he said before adding, “The last series was high-scoring. I am expecting nothing else but a high scoring series. But its always nice to have a score in front of you, I am sure it will be the same with England as well. For us batting or bowling first is immaterial. playing good cricket is the focus.”

India's Kuldeep Yadav celebrates taking the wicket of England's Jos Buttler during the Twenty20 cricket match between England and India at Old Trafford cricket ground in Manchester Kuldeep Yadav took five wickets in the first T20 against England. (Source: AP)

Applauding Kuldeep Yadav for his impact Sharma went on to say, “He is an attacking option anywhere he plays. But it depends on the captain, what he is comfortable with. He will bowl 10 overs, so hopefully, he can extract turn and bounce and trouble the Enlighsmen like he did in South Africa.”

On the possible batting combinations and inclusion of in-form KL Rahul, Rohit said,” I do not know where he will bat in ODIs. But he has been in great form. He is a quality player, wherever he will bat he will contribute. He wants to make a contribution in ODI team and will make an impact.

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