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1st ODI: Who would YOU select?

By HARISH KOTIAN
March 22, 2021 17:41 IST
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Shikhar Dhawan

IMAGE: Shikhar Dhawan is set to open the batting with Rohit Sharma in the first ODI game against England in Pune on Tuesday, March 23. Photograph: BCCI
 

Having won both the Test and T20I series against England, India will look to win the three-match ODI series, starting in Pune on Tuesday.

But the dynamics of an ODI game is completely different from a T20I encounter and India can ill afford to take the world champions lightly.

Shikhar Dhawan was dropped after failing in the opening T20I, but could get another opportunity in the 50 overs format where he did well last year -- hitting three fifties in his last five games for India.

He is likely to get the nod ahead of Shubman Gill who scored just one fifty in seven innings in the four Test series against England.

K L Rahul was the wicketkeeper-batsman in the three ODIs in Australia where he batted at No 5, but Rishabh Pant is likely to take over that role after his superb recent form.

Rahul, who failed in the T20 series, also faces a tough competition for the No 4 slot from the Mumbai duo of Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav, who both excelled with the bat in the T20I series.

The ODI series could see the reunion of the Pandya brothers in the Indian team. While Hardik is a guaranteed starter after his excelling all-round showing in the T20 games, elder brother Krunal hmade a strong case for his inclusion by hitting two centuries and two fifties for Baroda in the Vijay Hazare Trophy one-day tournament last month.

Leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal is set to return to the side after being dropped in the last two T20s.

In the fast bowling department, India are spoilt for choice despite the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar will lead the bowling attack in the ODIs. Shardul Thakur, who took the most number of wickets in the T20Is, could play as the second pacer, but India also have the option of variety in left-arm pacer Thangarasu Natarajan.

Mohammed Siraj is an exciting prospect with the ball while young Prasidh Krishna will be the one to watch out for if given an opportunity.

India lost the ODI series 1-2 in Australia, but will be confident of continuing their winning run against England, having the advantage of playing in familiar home conditions.

India and England produced a high-scoring thriller at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune four years ago when Virat Kohli's century chased down England's 350/7 with three wickets in hand and 11 balls to spare.

Will India go in with three spinners or three fast bowlers on a Pune pitch expected to be full of runs while also aiding the spinners in the latter half of the contest?

My India XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal.

Who would you pick for Tuesday's first One-Day International? Please click on the options below and share your team with your friends!

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HARISH KOTIAN / Rediff.com
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World Test Championship - 2021

World Test Championship - 2021