Preview: India and England battle for ODI supremacy

England, first in the ICC ODI rankings, take on second-placed India at Trent Bridge in Nottingham in the first clash of the three-match ODI series on Thursday. Here’s a look at what all to expect from the encounter.

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Packed with a powerhouse batting line up, England’s bowling unit have their work cut out if they are to keep the likes of Indian skipper Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and the explosive KL Rahul quiet. Kohli is averaging well over 100 in his last seven ODIs, while Rohit Sharma, who heads into the game on the back of a match-winning 100 in the last T20I, boasts a healthy average of 59.33 in his last 10 ODI matches. KL Rahul who smashed a hundred in the opening T20I will also be a threat with the bat. As far as the bowling is concerned, how England cope with the wrist spin of Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal in the middle overs, will have a major say in their fortunes.

England, on the other hand, will be in buoyant mood after a 5-0 whitewash of Australia in their previous ODI series. The Indians will have to be wary of the fact that England head into to the contest with fond memories of their last game at Trent Bridge fresh on their minds. The hosts amassed a world record 481/6 in their last match at the venue with Alex Hales starring with 147. Jos Buttler, who smashed a match-winning unbeaten 110 in the final match against Australia and Jason Roy, who hit 67 from 31 balls in the third T20I, will also have crucial parts to play.

Jonny Bairstow is another individual to keep an eye on with his recent exploits that saw him hit three consecutive centuries acting as a warning for the Indians. When it comes to England’s bowling, the onus will be on their spinners to deliver. Rashid Khan, who picked up his 100th ODI wicket recently against Australia, will need to work in tandem with Moeen Ali to thwart India’s formidable batting lineup.

LAST ENCOUNTERS

India have been in scintillating form of late having won nine of their previous 12 ODIs. Their last ODI against England came in January of last year when they beat the English 2-1 in a three-match series in India. The hosts are also in a rich vein of form having whitewashed the Australians in their previous ODI series and emerged victorious in eight out of their last 11 games.

India’s last five ODIs: WWLWW

INDIA

RESULT

MARGIN

vs South Africa

Won

8 wickets

vs South Africa

Won

73 runs

vs South Africa

Lost

5 wickets

vs South Africa

Won

124 runs

vs South Africa

Won

9 wickets

England’s last five ODIs: WWWWW

ENGLAND

RESULT

MARGIN

vs Australia

Won

1 wicket

vs Australia

Won

6 wickets

vs Australia

Won

242 runs

vs Australia

Won

38 runs

vs Australia

Won

3 wickets

PROBABLE XI

Both sides are likely to field an almost full-strength team on Thursday. India though will be without the services of Jasprit Bumrah due to injury. His absence will probably pave the way for Umesh Yadav, who’ll be sharing the responsibility of the new ball with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Here’s a look at the predicted squad.

SURPRISE FACTOR

Suresh Raina (IND): After a somewhat underwhelming return to the national fold in the T20Is, Raina will be desperate to make an impact in the ODIs. The powerful left-hander will want to cement his position in the middle order with his explosive hitting, as the English fast bowlers look to keep him on his toes with plenty of short balls.

Mark Wood (ENG): Wood will be hoping to make his presence felt with his tear-away pace that sees him frequently clock in at around 90 mph. We can expect plenty of short stuff from Wood against the Indian batsmen, who haven’t always been comfortable facing both pace and short balls in the past.

Words: Sportz Interactive

Images:PA

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