After a closely contested T20 competition, India and England will now lock horns in an ODI series. The 50-over competition will be a three-match affair and will be held in Pune behind closed doors. Although the World Cup is still away, Team India will utilize this ODI series to test the form of a couple of players.
In this article, we predict the likely playing XI for Team India. Since there are only three games, the management might not experiment too much. They would rather try to help players consolidate their positions in the line-up. Before that, let’s have a look at the squad selected for the ODI Series.
India’s ODI squad for the England series: Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma (VC), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (WK), KL Rahul (WK), Y Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, W Sundar, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Md. Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, and Shardul Thakur.
Openers: Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul
Rohit Sharma has been in good form in recent months. Hence, he will open the innings in all the games. Over the last few years, not only for India but Rohit has also been one of the best batsmen in ODI cricket. His performance will be crucial for the team.
Although KL Rahul’s form is debatable, Team India might stick with the Punjab Kings skipper. Yes, he might have played at No.5 in recent times, but with Rishabh back to form, KL could move up the order.
Middle-Order: Virat Kohli (C), Suryakumar Yadav and Rishabh Pant (WK)
While Virat Kohli is a certainty at No.3, there could be discussions regarding the other middle-order batting positions. Shreyas Iyer has done well, but he might have to sacrifice his place for Suryakumar Yadav. SKY could play the T20 World Cup, and hence, the management must test him as much as possible before the event. Pant was dropped for the ODI Series against Australia. He is in fine form at the moment, and could even bat at No.4 if required.
All-rounders: Hardik Pandya and Washington Sundar
Hardik Pandya has just started bowling, and it might be a tough demand if the team expects ten overs from him. Hence, Team India might play two all-rounders. Washington Sundar has returned to the ODI squad and could play in the XI. Although Krunal Pandya is also there, Washi has been doing well in recent days and deserves a chance. Regarding their batting positions, if India loses a few early wickets, Washi could be asked to bat ahead of Hardik.
Bowlers: Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal and T Natarajan
Shardul Thakur offers depth in the batting line-up at No.8. His bowling has also improved in recent months. Leading the attack will be the experienced Bhuvneshwar Kumar. It is a treat to watch the pacer back to his best. T Natarajan is fit and will play all three encounters. His role will be immense for the squad again. In the spin department, India might stick with Yuzvendra Chahal. He can pick wickets in middle-overs, and that will be his USP.