London:- Though India and England are on the road to prepare for Men’s T20 World Cup in Australia in October-November, there is also an ODI World Cup to be hosted by the visitors in the same time period next year.
If India’s long-term planning for the ODI World Cup needed an initial push, then the upcoming three-match series against the World Champions in this format of the game, starting from The Oval on Tuesday, is the perfect way for them to kickstart it.
For now, it is India, with their new, aggressive approach of batting in T20Is and fetching them 2-1 win over England, who come in as the favourites in the ODI series. This year, India have had a mixed bag in ODIs – lost 3-0 to South Africa in January before defeating West Indies by the same margin at home.
With the addition of ace opener Shikhar Dhawan, one can think of India to be stronger in the batting department despite Virat Kohli’s form facing intense scrutiny apart from the bowling department having a sorted look. “All matches are important for us. We can’t play thinking ODIs are not a priority, but we have to keep in mind the workload of each player. We will make changes but our ultimate goal is to win matches.
“We will not leave that thought process behind. For us, the aim is to understand white-ball cricket, how to play (as) new guys are playing. 50 over is an extension of T20 (cricket). Maybe you take less risk in ODIs as compared to T20 cricket but you have to take it,” asserted India skipper Rohit Sharma on importance of ODIs in a Men’s T20 World Cup year.
England, on the other hand, will be playing in the format for the first time since the retirement of their 2019 World Cup winning skipper Eoin Morgan. After defeating the Netherlands 3-0, England suffered a setback by conceding the T20I series to India.
Newly-appointed skipper Jos Buttler and Jason Roy were amassing big runs against the Netherlands in ODIs. But the duo were unable to carry on the same approach against India in T20Is, falling early and cheaply and would be itching to bounce back in ODIs.
The hosts will also be boosted by the return of their star players Ben Stokes, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow after playing huge roles in England winning four out of four Tests this summer. As the recently-concluded T20I series showed, one can expect a neck-to-neck battle between the two teams, with small margins determining who will emerge victorious in the ODI series.
England: Jos Buttler (Captain), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Brydon Carse, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Craig Overton, Matthew Parkinson, Jason Roy, Phil Salt, Reece Topley and David Willey
India: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Prasidh Krishna, Mohammed Shami, Mohammed Siraj and Arshdeep Singh.