By George Marrable
- England will resume their battle with India this week, as the nations go head to head in the ODI and T20 series.
- India will host three ODI’s and three T20’s against India, starting with the first ODI in Pune on Sunday 15th January.
PUNE, INDIA – The hosts come into the series high on confidence after dominating the test series against England taking the five game series 4-1. The visitors will be looking to redeem themselves following a dismal test performance.
Despite their poor performances in the test matches, England will be quietly confident coming into the series. Their white ball form over the past year has been very impressive, and the team seems to be very much on the up.
As they have for the recent series, the selectors have gone for a young and fearless squad for the series. Captain Eoin Morgan returns on the back of some good form in the Big Bash to captain the side, along with David Willey, Jason Roy and Sam Billings, all who have also been playing in Australia’s T20 competition.
Roy will resume his partnership with Alex Hales at the top of the order. The opening pair have been crucial in England’s form, with both regularly getting the side off to a quick start at the beginning of an innings. Hales famously hit England’s highest ever ODI score, 171, against Pakistan in August.
However, Hales and Morgan will both be feeling a bit of pressure in this series, after choosing not to play in the Bangladesh series due to security reasons.
Moeen Ali, Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Adil Rashid and Chris Woakes keep their places from the test series, with Woakes not featuring in the T20 series. But England could be without talisman Root for the early stages of the series, as he awaits the birth of his first child.
Just like in the test series, Rashid will be crucial in England’s bowling attack. He finished England’s top wicket taker in the series, and seems to have even more of an impact in the shorter format. Alongside Rashid, Liam Plunkett and Jake Ball come into the squad to add some pace to the attack, with Liam Dawson providing another spin option.
The main talking point from India’s selection was MS Dhoni’s decision to step down as captain, with Virat Kholi taking over the role, meaning he is now captain in all three formats of the game.
Dhoni still retains his place in the squad, with his destructive batting at the end of an innings still vital to India’s game.
The selectors have also taken the bold step of recalling veteran batsman Yuvraj Singh to the squad. The 35 year old has not played an ODI since 2013, and has been recalled on the back of some scintillating form in domestic cricket; but also possibly to counter-act England’s relatively young and inexperienced side.
After playing crucial roles in their demolition of England in the test matches, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravi Ashwin both keep their place in the side, hoping to cause similar problems for England. Their batsman will have bad memories of their performances in the test matches, something that could play into India’s hands.
Despite Dhoni retaining his place in both the ODI and T20 squads, India have picked young wicketkeeper-batsman Rishabh Pant for the T20 squad, presumably looking at him as a possible successor to the India legend.
Both Rohit Sharma and Mohammed Shami did not make the squad, meaning India are slightly light on pace in their bowling attack. It will be the spinners they will look to for inspiration in what is shaping up to be a very competitive series.
The first ODI takes place at Pune on Sunday 15th January 2017.
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