Ind vs Eng ODI: 5 Things to Watch Out For in Upcoming India vs England ODI Series: The three-match ODI series between India and England begins on Tuesday at the MCA Stadium in Pune. After their win in the T20I series, the hosts are high on confidence while the World Champions, under the captaincy of Eoin Morgan, have a point to prove as well.
While the focus of both nations is on the upcoming World T20I event, the ODI format cannot be overlooked. Due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, not much 50-over cricket has been played by both the teams. This series would give a good account of where the two nations are at, in terms of their strength in ODI format.
For England especially, this series holds great value. They will have to defend their world title in Indian in 2023. So, familiarity with Indian conditions and formula for winning here is something they would look to find out in these three matches.
It would be very difficult to predict who wins this series. Both teams are evenly matched and possess match winners. Still, we can delineate five things that all cricket fans have to watch carefully in these three matches. Let’s enumerate them.
Ind vs Eng ODI: 5 Things to Watch Out For in the Upcoming India vs England ODI Series
England’s Spin Bowling Strength
For the visitors, two key players would be their spin twins Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali. The former has been one of the major reasons why England have been so successful in ODI cricket in the last few years. But on Indian surfaces, their role would be even more important.
Since the next World Cup will be played in the subcontinent, Rashid and Moeen will have to become England’s main strike bowlers. To some extent, the leggie has managed to do that quite successfully. But with the pitches becoming increasingly flat in this format, things are not going to get any easier. This series gives a great opportunity to the two tweakers to hone their skills on sub-continental tracks.
England without Archer
Jofra Archer’s injury may be a blessing in disguise for the English team. It would allow them to test their remaining pace bowler’s effectiveness against, arguably, the best batting order in the world. The one man who will be called upon to fill the gap left by Archer’s absence is Mark Wood. Capable of generating high speeds, he would be England’s speed merchant.
The Curran brothers – Tom and Sam – are known for their skills. Sam’s experience with Chennai Super Kings would come in handy while Tom too has a few tricks up his sleeve. Still, one cannot shake off the feeling that the English pace attack looks much weakened without their lead strike bowler. This is a weakness that India might look to capitalize on.
Bhuvneshwar Yadav Back in the Mix
While the tour of Australia threw up great talents in the form of T Natarajan and Mohammad Siraj, India’s tried and tested combination of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah remains their first-choice. While the latter is going to miss this series, Bhuvi is back and raring to go.
India sorely missed his services in their last ODI series – against Australia last year. His experience and set of skills are much-needed by the Men in Blue in this format. Having shown glimpses of his old form in the T20I series, Bhuvi would be expected to lead the attack with aplomb in these three games.
Big Chance for Shikhar Dhawan to return to form
This series would also see the return of Shikhar Dhawan. One of the most successful ODI batsmen in recent years for India, the left-hander, though, has struggled with injuries and inconsistency. With competition for the opening slot becoming more intense, thanks to KL Rahul and Shubman Gill’s presence, Dhawan would be under pressure to prove a point.
With no Archer in the England line-up, his task becomes a little bit easier. However, Sam Curran with his left-arm angle and Mark Wood with his extra pace can still cause some issues. A failure in this series for Dhawan would provide great temptation to India for bringing KL Rahul back to the top order or trying out Shubman Gill again. All eyes would be on the southpaw.
India without Jasprit Bumrah
While the Indian Test team boasts of a very formidable pace attack, the ODI team seems heavily reliant of Jasprit Bumrah. Even he wasn’t at his best last year. Now, with him away from the team for this series, India’s bowling depth would be severely tested against a big-hitting English line-up.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s comeback will help. The impressive efforts of Shardul Thakur and Thangarasu Natarajan are also giving India hope. These three, as well as Mohammad Siraj will have to step up to the challenge.
For Virat Kohli, the absence of Bumrah would be a good opportunity to test the depth of India’s pace bowling squad. For the likes of Thakur and Natarajan, it would be a chance to cement their place in the side.