After a magnificent run in theTwenty20 International (T20I) series, India now have their eyes on the ODIs. It’s a very important series for both the sides with the World Cup being just a few months away. England and India are the two red-hot favorites for the high-voltage encounter and the battle between the two will be mesmerizing. Both the teams have a solid batting, to begin with; their batsmen render batting a joy to behold.
England have a monstrous batting, that inspires confidence on the field. They wreaked havoc against Australia in the recently concluded ODI series and gave a testament to their supremacy. England bat very deep which could make the difference. India, on the other hand, have a well balanced side. Their batting is as effective as their bowling and forms a complete package. While England have had a reputation of producing flat decks, the bowling department will play a crucial role.
One can expect runs to be scored heavily but India’s bowling have enough variety which will test England’s Achilles heals. It is unlikely that England will dish out turning tracks as India have a well-oiled spin attack. Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have won games for India single-handedly and turned flat pitches into wicket taking ones. England wouldn’t want to play into India’s hands, which might compel them to dish out seaming or flat wickets.
If they opt to do so, the top order of both the sides will play a crucial role. In comparison, India have a well established and proven top four. One shouldn’t forget, England lacks some serious firepower in their bowling, which will be an added advantage to Indian batsmen. The top four from both the sides will play a crucial role in the series. Although England’s top order has spilt fire in the recent times but it will be interesting to see if they can replicate the same magic against Indian bowlers. Despite the absence of Jasprit Bumrah India have enough gun power in their artillery.
The success of both the teams will highly depend on the way their top four fares in the series. India’s top four in all likeliness will feature Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul and Virat Kohli; this bunch of players have talent, experience and hunger to score big. In comparison, India’s top four looks more intimidating and powerful than England. Rohit and Dhawan have been prolific at the top, getting flying starts for India on a consistent basis against the new ball. One doesn’t need to speak about Virat Kohli’s prowess in this format; he is the undisputed king of shorter formats in contemporary cricket.
Speaking about KL Rahul he may not have huge numbers like Kohli or Rohit under his belt, but has shown enough promise and has the ingredients to establish himself in this line-up. Rahul’s rise as a batsman has been irresistible and has scaled newer heights in the recent times. This line-up is well equipped to tackle seam as well as spin, they don’t have any major weakness that can be exploited. It doesn’t matter what kind of surface they are batting on, they make batting look easy.
Talking about England’s batting, they have Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root in top four. These names look intimidating on paper, but the same confidence has been missing against spin. Indian wrist-spinners don’t rely much on conditions, they have done well on flatter wickets and one can expect them to do well in England as well. It’s not that English top four are not capable of capitalizing on spin bowlers; they have done it in the past. But Indian bowlers will pose challenges of a different kind and when compared to India, the sub-continent boys are more efficient. In numbers, India’s top four averages 83.80 in 18 innings played over last two years. For England, the number is slightly high in the said period with an average of just over 86, but India have reawakened their old spin problems, which might be the turning point in the series.
England will be a run-fest without a doubt and it is often said if a team has to score big, their top four has to fire. It will be interesting to see how the top four of both the sides fare in this series. The series is all set to kick start and the winner will gain a lot of confidence and momentum for the World Cup, which is scheduled to be played in England.