England vs India, 2018: ODI series – Possible change in India’s playing XI for each match

Team India will want to go horses for courses during this series which will also allow them to give most players a chance.

Indian team
Indian team celebrates the series win. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The 3-match ODI series between England and India will not only decide which side will emerge as the No.1 ODI team in the rankings but will also help the teams initiate the build-up for the World Cup. The series is more important for India who will want to experiment a bit and identify the team to invest the next 11 months on. KL Rahul’s fearless approach makes him a must in India’s playing XI as he can help the team to accelerate in any specific period rather than waiting for the middle order’s to turn up and score at will in the final ten.

Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan have become undroppable having been successful for more than five years. This means India have to fit Rahul in the middle-order to make most out of his peak form. It will be ideal for India to have Rahul at No.3 and the captain Virat Kohli at No.4 which will ease nerves of the youngster and give him the backing to play bold. Kohli could well solve the No.4 problem by himself a position which he owned before becoming the best No.3 of this format.

Kohli has got used to the variable scenarios while batting at No.3 as the Rohit-Dhawan usually lasts for more than 20-25 overs on their days and sometimes even get out in the first over. Hardik Pandya is another triumph card for India in limited-overs cricket like Rahul as the all-rounder improved upon his variations with the ball and delivered more than what was asked of him. His big hitting is also a boon for the team as he can give a thrust to the run rate late in the innings.

1st ODI – Trent Bridge, Nottingham:

Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep Yadav of India. (Photo by Nathan Stirk/Getty Images)

The average first innings score in the last four completed ODIs in Nottingham is 390 thanks to the record 400+ totals in the last two completed matches by England. The curious case of Trent Bridge is that the four Royal London Matches played this year didn’t record even one 300+ total and in fact, teams were bowled out for less than 210 as many as four times in those games. However, all the doubts with regards to the track were cleared when England made a record 481/6 earlier this month against the Aussies. The pitch remained the same through the game and that has raised hopes for another big scoring game on Thursday.

India would need to strengthen their batting rather than looking for a bowling option in Suresh Raina. Siddharth Kaul would be the perfect replacement for Bhuvneshwar Kumar who missed out from the final T20I due to a stiff back. Given the selection decisions made in Bristol, the Trent Bridge ODI could be the game where either of the wrist-spinners play. India will be worried looking at the dimensions of the ground as one of the sides is the shortest boundaries. In that case, if Bhuvi plays Kaul can still be included for one of the spinners.

Predicted India XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (C), Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Siddharth Kaul/Kuldeep Yadav.

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