Analyzing Virat Kohli and the Men in Blue's charge for the ODI series in England

Analyzing Virat Kohli and the Men in Blue’s charge for the ODI series in England

How do you think the Indians will fare in the upcoming series against England.

India captain Virat Kohli celebrates
India captain Virat Kohli celebrates. (Photo by MARCO LONGARI/AFP/Getty Images)

The Indian One Day international team was announced on May 8 that will be taking on England in a three-match series in July.

India’s tour of England starts with a three-match T20I affair from July 3 to July 7. Post that is the ODI series that is all set to begin from July 12 onwards. Virat Kohli will be leading the side and a good outing in the T20Is against Ireland and England respectively will give him a huge boost going into the 50-over format.

The BCCI selected a 17-member squad and the team is pretty similar to the T20I, with just two new faces coming in. Ajinkya Rahane and Manish Pandey will make way for Shreyas Iyer and Ambati Rayudu in the side. Kohli’s side has been a dominant force in the ODIs off late and the recent exploits against South Africa earlier this year showed their prowess and dominance.

India has been enjoying a solid run and the aim will be to claim the numero uno position in the ICC ODI rankings after they slipped to second. The selectors have gone for a side that has the experience and the depth is something notable. Will they come out strong against England in the series?

Here is an analysis of the squad for the ODI series addressing the key aspects.

Strengths

The opening combination 0f Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will once again be expected to lead the way for India. Since his nought in the first ODI against Sri Lanka back in December 2017, Dhawan has been amongst the runs. He amassed two centuries and three fifties since then against Lanka and the Proteas. He knows the English conditions well and the understanding with Rohit atop will be a massive factor.

Virat Kohli was in a different level against SA in the six-match ODI series. Three tons to his name was a hallmark of the success India enjoyed. He brings so much flair in the line-up. The experience of MS Dhoni will be of huge help in the middle-overs and when India need a strong finish.

Shreyas Iyer has given a good account of himself in ODIs for India recently and will keep his place in that middle-order. He brings assurance and bundles of energy. Hardik Pandya gave a good account of himself in the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy here and he looked composed in the conditions.

The pace attack looks strong and Bhuvneshwar Kumar will enjoy bowling against England. Umesh Yadav and Jasprit Bumrah are strong ODI players and the contest between bat and ball will be massive. The wrist spinners will come into action too. The strength here is they can use any surface in their favour and get crucial wickets.

Weaknesses

Will Rohit get the consistency factor going? One question that will be in the minds of everybody. In the last two series which had nine ODIs, consistency has been the issue. On his day, Rohit can be the best in the world and his 208* against Lanka and the 115 against SA showed why. But apart from these two innings, the other seven have yielded just 64 runs at an average below 10.

With the English conditions going to test the players with swing and bounce, India’s lower-middle order will be tested immensely. That’s where the likes of Iyer or either of KL Rahul and Ambati Rayudu will need to show their mettle. They have been amongst the runs in Indian conditions, but England will be different ball game altogether.

Opportunities

Rohit has enjoyed batting in England in this format and in a three-match game, his contribution atop can be massive. He will be eager to get some runs with the World Cup in mind, which too will be held here. Big chance for Iyer to make the middle-order position his own. He will be given the opportunity and negotiating against tough bowling will do him a world of good.

It remains to be seen, who gets the other batting slot between Dinesh Karthik, Rayudu and Rahul. Either of the three will need to come in and make the most out of the situation, given the bag of batsmen India have waiting to come in.

Umesh Yadav will be relishing to do well and be a prime force alongside Bhuvi and Bumrah, If he can bowl with the energy and pace he is showing in the ongoing Indian Premier League, he could be assured of more chances.

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