Ind vs Eng 1st ODI – India’s playing XI: Banking on series wins in Test and T20I, India will take on England in a three-match ODI series in Pune with an opportunity to become World No 1, dethroning the Three Lions with a clean sweep. While that would be Team India’s ultimate goal, for the team management, they have to mull over the possible combinations, especially in the pace bowling department.
With Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur likely to keep their places in the Playing XI after fine performances in the T20Is, it is the extra pacer option that will be the bone of contention. The contenders for the place will be T Natarajan, Mohammed Siraj and newcomer Prasidh Krishna.
Including Krishna in the squad, India think-tank has already signalled that they are trying out the new crop in the build-up to ICC T20 and 2023 World Cup. Furthermore, with Hardik Pandya, India may not risk him bowling 10 overs ahead of the T20 World Cup. Hence, they will need the extra fast bowler in the Playing XI.
With Jasprit Bumrah taking personal time off and Mohammed Shami still nursing an injury, India, barring Bhuvneshwar Kumar, will have an inexperienced pace battery. InsideSport takes a look at who could be picked for the 1st ODI in Pune.
Ind vs Eng 1st ODI: 1 spot, 3 players; Siraj, Natarajan or Prasidh, who will be picked in India’s playing XI?
Mohammed Siraj: Siraj’s record in the ODIs is just one match old. He debuted against Australia in Adelaide in 2019 and was abysmal, getting hit for 76 runs in his allotted overs without any scalp. Since then, Siraj has transformed into a fine red-ball bowler. It was evident in the Australia and England series. He bagged 16 wickets from five matches at an average of 28.25.
However, his domestic List A record is impressive. In 46 matches, he has bagged 81 wickets at an average of 23.37. Furthermore, he has received the confidence booster he needed from the success in the Test series. With Bumrah and Shami absent, Mohammed Siraj would be in contention for the third-pacer role and will be his chance to prove his mettle.
T Natarajan: Like Siraj, he too is inexperienced in ODIs. He has also played just one match, also against Australia and wasn’t very successful, conceding 70 runs with two wickets in the match. However, India has a long-term plan for the Tamil Nadu quick, who has shown his disciplined bowling skills in domestic cricket. In 16 matches, he has picked up 18 wickets with an impressive economy rate of 4.52. After success in T20Is, T Natarajan would be confident and that is all he needs to get the wickets in the ODIs. He is one of the three pacers on whom team management and Kohli are keeping an eye on. If paired with Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur, he is likely to get the yields he is expected to.
Prasidh Krishna: The Karnataka pacer has learned from the best. He has rubbed shoulders with three former India pacers in Vinay Kumar, Abhimanyu Mithun and Sreenath Aravind at Karnataka while in IPL, he has had the experience of running into world-class fast bowlers, including sharing the dressing room with Lockie Ferguson.
Kohli has a lot of trust in the youngster and giving him his maiden call-up against England is a testament to that. Kohli has also publicly spoken about how he could be a “surprise package” and surely, he will get his chance in the three-match ODI series.