New Delhi: It is expected to be a run-feast at Trent Bridge when India and England clash in the opening game of the three-match ODI series on Thursday. While both teams have a batting-heavy line-up, some interesting battles will be on the cards in the first game of what should turn out to be a scintillating contest between bat and ball.
Jonny Bairstow vs Umesh Yadav
There is no denying the fact that Bairstow will look to go for the kill from the beginning. Known to take advantage of the early fielding restrictions, anything in his half will only head to one direction — the boundary ropes. But Yadav has been impressive with his line and length in the T20I series gone by and more importantly looked to pick wickets. With the format getting longer and the batsmen not willing to throw the kitchen-sink at every ball, it will be interesting to see how the two go about with their respective task at the top of the innings.
Jos Buttler vs Yuzvendra Chahal
While he takes on the pacers in the powerplay in T20 cricket, Buttler’s comes in to bat in the middle-order in the 50-over format and his role is that of creating the platform for a late innings flourish. And that is exactly where he will come up against Chahal. The leg-spinner is known to bowl an aggressive line in an attempt to pick wickets and it will be interesting to see if Buttler falls for the trap or he goes on ticking the scoreboard before launching into a late-order flourish. With Chahal claiming that he has a variation in his googlies, Buttler might have to watch the ball off the wicket.
Shikhar Dhawan vs David Willey
The left-arm pacer has troubled batsmen with his angles and with Dhawan not looking in great touch in the T20Is, the pacer will look to send him back early. But one mustn’t forget that Dhawan has terrific numbers in the ODI format in England and this could well be another opportunity for Dhawan to return to form with a bang. The start will be important for both teams and India will hope that Dhawan can once again start getting those silken drives flowing from his bat.
Virat Kohli vs Adil Rashid
There has been a lot of talk about Kohli’s batting position in recent times with former skipper Sourav Ganguly saying that he should bat at No.4. If that is the case, Kohli will have to take the attack to Rashid in the middle overs and ensure that the spinner doesn’t settle down and get his rhythm going. For Rashid, it will be important to keep the India skipper tied down so that he makes mistakes and the false shot comes into the picture.
Squads: England: Eoin Morgan (c), Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (wk), Moeen Ali, Joe Root, Jake Ball, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid, David Willey, Mark Wood.
India: Virat Kohli (c), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, MS Dhoni (wk), Dinesh Karthik, Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shreyas Iyer, Siddarth Kaul, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar.