England’s tour of India 2021 has been very entertaining from the start. England started off the tour by beating India comprehensively in the first Test which followed by India making a strong comeback to win the remaining 3 Tests.
Right after the Test series, India pulled off a thriller by winning the T20I series 3-2 at Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad. However, the action is not over yet as we have a 3-match ODI series yet to be played. All the 3 games will be played in Pune itself behind closed doors from the 23rd of March.
The Indian selectors have announced an 18-man squad for the ODI series with few players making a comeback in the ODI setup and 3 players getting their maiden callup. Mohammad Siraj, Rishabh Pant and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are making a comeback while Suryakumar Yadav, Prasidh Krishna and Krunal Pandya have been included in the ODI squad for the first time. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will continue to be the Captain and Vice-Captain of the team. With such a big squad with many talented players, it will be interesting to see which XI do India field for the ODIs. Therefore, let’s take a look at-
Predicted Playing for India XI in the ODI series
There was a lot of talk and confusion around India’s opening pair in the T20I series, but as far as ODIs are concerned there is no debate here. Rohit Sharma did miss the ODI series against Australia few months back, but he is back again in the opening slot.
India’s prime all-rounder was rested for the first 2 T20Is of the 5-match T20 series but was back for the 3rd one. He played a convincing knock in the the final T20I against England and is also an experienced campaigner who can’t be kept quiet for long.
An interesting fact is that Rohit Sharma has not played an ODI for India since January 2020. He will be looking up to go out and score runs in the format that he has been most successful in. Rohit is expected to play in best form for Men in Blue in the ODI series.
The southpaw played in the first T20I of the series but was instantly dropped in the next game following a failure. Shikhar Dhawan was quite unlucky to get dropped just after a single failure. However, with the ODI series coming, he will definitely get a chance to prove himself.
His opening pair with Rohit Sharma has been one of the best around the world in the last few years. Recently he has also played some domestic cricket in the Vijay Hazare Trophy where he was in decent form. His best innings of 153 came in a run chase against Maharashtra.
After scoring 600+ runs in IPL 2020 and to lose his spot to 22-year-old Ishan Kishan would have been hurting. He will be looking to prove a point in the ODI series by stamping his authority.
The number 3 spot in the Indian ODI setup has been untouched ever since Virat Kohli grabbed it. The best batsman in the world will be seen batting at the most important position in ODI cricket.
Looking at his statistics for the past year, it would have been right to call him out form until he proved his top class form in recently concluded T20I series. However, such high are the standards set by him that we expect him to go a step further.
Kohli’s last international century came in the Day-night Test against Bangladesh in 2019 and has failed to cross the three-figure mark since then. Everyone has been waiting for the King’s 71st international century and it seems that the time has finally come in the ODIs coming up.
4) KL Rahul
Kl Rahul’s batting position in ODI cricket was quite fluctuating until last year. Although he is an opener, he could not play at his preferred position owing to 2 world-class openers Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma. So, after a lot of experimentation, he was assigned the number 5 position.
He was also handed the wicket-keeping duties and he did that well too. But with Rishabh Pant back in the mix, Rahul might again have to change his position and bat at number 4. It will be interesting to see how he adapts to it.
He has been quite off in the ongoing T20I series, with only a single score above 10. However, he is a player of class and is just a few hits away to get back in form. A lot will depend on him as far as the middle order strength is concerned.
The swashbuckling wicket-keeper has been in tremendous form in the longest form of the game. As a result, Rishabh Pant was included in the ODI and T20I squads of the tour. He played all the T20Is against England and was also promoted up to number 4 because of his attacking ability.
However, he failed to notch up a big score in any of the T20Is. He got good starts but failed to convert them into a big innings. Despite it, the team management would still rely on his impact ability and include him as the wicket-keeper and finisher.
Pant has been around the team for considerable amount of time now and the time has come for him to step up. He needs to bring his temperament from the Tests in the limited overs games too or else he might have to face the axe soon.
The all-rounder was away from the team for a long time when he sustained a serious back injury. He was a part of the Australian tour and Tests against England too, but he did not bowl. But he is now back in the team and is completely fit.
The biggest positive in the series so far is the fact that he up again with the bowling too. In the final T20I against England, he played a fiery innings to push India to post a mammoth total.
He will now be looking to stamp his authority in the ODIs too. As Kohli says, he will an important part of the team going forward, he will be used by the skipper to his full potential. This series can be the start of the rise of Pandya as a world-class all-rounder.
Krunal Pandya has received his maiden ODI callup for this 3-match ODI series. Ever since Ravindra Jadeja was injured, India have been playing like for like replacements for him. Thus, like Axar Patel in Tests, Krunal is expected to go straight into the XI as a like for like replacement for Jadeja.
Krunal has been a part of India’s T20I squads in the past and has performed decently. However, with more and more players coming up, he could not hold on to the spot. But recently, he has been playing a lot of domestic cricket and being the captain for Baroda, he has put up some very good performances especially with the bat.
With his brother Hardik Pandya already in the squad, he too will want to get in. He will be looking to make most of the chance seeing the good form that he is in. He will thus put forward his case, in the already long list of spin all-rounders India has.
The Mumbaikar has been a part of the Indian squad consistently now. Starting from the ODIs against the Aussies, T20Is and then also the Tests, he has been part of all and had put up decent show in the all the series.
He did not have a very good start to his international career as he was quite expensive in terms of economy. However, he has improved his bowing big time and is now one of the better bowlers in the team. His has strengthened his bowling by executing a variety of deliveries like cutters, slower balls, etc.
As we have seen in the Brisbane test, Thakur can also bat well. Thus, he will also provide the firepower needed at the end of the innings with his shots. Hence, he will definitely be in the starting XI of the ODIs.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar too was not a part of the team owing to injuries for a long time. He did play at the start of IPL 2020, but was soon sidelined because of injuries. After that he went to the NCA for rehabilitation and is now back in the limited overs squads.
He has played all the T20Is against England and flaunted a magnificent show in the series decider. He has been pretty consistent with his line and length. Kumar has also shown hints of swing with new ball, which has always been his strength.
He also played some domestic cricket recently, in the Syed Mushtaq Ali trophy. He will surely be one of the pacers in the XI and will also lead the pack in Jasprit Bumrah’s absence. He will be looking to cement his place yet again in the team after the long break.
The smart wrist spinner will be one the main bowlers for India in the series. Yuzvendra Chahal has been India’s main spinner for quite a lot of time now. His consistent performances in the IPL and domestic cricket earned him a place in the Indian team and from there, there has been no looking back.
Pune generally provides a good batting wicket and thus runs need to be controlled in the middle overs. Thus, India will back Chahal to get wickets in the middle overs, and thus kill the opposition’s momentum.
Chahal usually enjoys bowling with his partner Kuldeep Yadav, but it is unlikely that Kuldeep will start in the XI. However, Chahal is a clever operator with the ball and will find ways to trap the English batsmen and exploit their weakness against spin.
T Natarajan’s success story to reach the Indian team has been phenomenal. His performance in IPL 2020 earned him an international call-up to which he responded splendidly. He played in one of the ODIs against Australia and all of the T20Is. His performance was right up to the mark.
Natarajan missed the 4 T20Is against England and only walked up with the ball in the final game. However, he is expected to put up a robust show for the ODIs and will also start in the playing XI as one of the pacers. His pinpoint yorkers and decent pace will be looked out for.
In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, he will be given the duties with ball in the death along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. He is expected to bowl well and come out of the series with flying colours.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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