Pune, March 22 (IANS) After over a month of stay in Ahmedabad, the Indian and English teams will battle for the last leg of their ongoing full series here with the three-match ODI series that begins on Tuesday.
In a year with the World Test Championship and the T20 World Cup, the ODIs stick out as unnecessary especially with the 50-over World Cup a couple of years away.
India will, however, look to focus on the finer details and hold the momentum that they had achieved by winning the last two T20 Internationals, that saw them clinching the series.
India have, so far, defeated England in both the Test series as well as the T20 series and they have done that despite being 0-1 down at the start in both the series.
The last time India played an ODI series was back in November 2020 in Australia which they lost to Australia as Steve Smith & Co out-batted them in the first two games.
In those games, India’s bowling let them down badly. In the last match of that series though the bowlers came good helping India manage a consolation win.
Virat Kohli’s boys should not have any problems for this series on the bowling front.
With Bhuvneshwar Kumar returning to the side and playing a man-of-the-match role in the last T20 match on a batting-friendly pitch and Shardul Thakur, who did well in the last ODI in Australia, continuing his form and being deceptive with his change of pace like Bhuvneshwar, India seem to be in safe hands.
Shikhar Dhawan will return to open with Rohit Sharma in the first match and all eyes will be on the new faces Suryakumar Yadav, who did well in the T20 series, and M. Prasidh Krishna, who is gearing up for his first international. Rishabh Pant too has been included after missing the one-day series in Australia.
England are the current world champions but things haven’t been going too well for them. Pace bowler Jofra Archer is injured and will miss the ODI series and the initial phase of the IPL to be fit for the World T20 as well as the Ashes.
Pace bowler Mark Wood, who did well in the first few T20 games proved expensive in the last couple of games on wickets deprived of pace and even bounce.
The biggest challenge for both the teams will be adapting to the new atmosphere. Both teams have spent significant time in two venues. While they spent about three weeks in Chennai for the first two Tests, they spent over a month in Ahmedabad for two Tests and five T20 Internationals.
“Good to be here in Pune. Always been a venue that produces good cricket wicket. Lot of runs on offer. (But) Bowlers who can bowl well, can get wickets. We are looking forward to a good contest and probably a very solid start to the one-day series as well,” skipper Kohli said on Monday.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), KL Rahul (wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Md Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur.
England: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonathan Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Livingstone, Matt Parkinson, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, Mark Wood.