Saturday, December 10, 2022

Bairstow, Root and Stokes return to action as England look to avenge the loss of the T20I series


If the three T20Is were any indication, the ODI series promises to be a thrill ride by the minute. England have built a reputation for pushing themselves early on in both cue ball formats, and India, who have traditionally been known for building their innings methodically before excelling in death overs, have also taken the aggressive path in the T20I series. . Whether or not they continue with this approach on the ODIs remains to be seen, but conditions should help with the fast run, with surfaces in the Oval often among the flattest in England.

Both sides enter the series with excellent ODI records. England have lost just one of their last 10 ODIs and are about to rack up the biggest ODI total in history against the Netherlands. India, meanwhile, have won six of their last 10 games in the format, which includes a 3-0 home win over the West Indies earlier this year.

The last time India came to The Oval, they took a 2-1 lead in the Test series last year, with Rohit Sharma scoring 127 in the second round. Rohit hopes to create happier memories here, as does his likely opening partner Shikhar Dhawan, who in five ODIs at this venue has scored 443 runs with an average of 110.75 over three centuries and fifty. In a team that is full of promising youngsters who have also been in and around the T20 setup, Dhawan is an established name who remains an important cog in India’s 50-over plans.

Jos Buttler’s captaincy debut in the T20I didn’t go as planned, but with Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root back, England’s batting lineup will be in full swing at the ODIs. But the bowling seems a little thin, especially in the spin department. Matt Parkinson wasn’t at his best in the T20I series, nor was Moeen Ali, and Livingstone’s mix of offspin and legspin had 74 runs in his five overs in the three games. If the ongoing heat wave in the UK causes the fields to dry out, spin could play a significant role in the series – as can the cutters and changes of pace from faster players.

form guide

England WWWWW (last five ODIs completed, newest first)

In the spotlight

Hardik Pandya He last played an ODI nearly a year ago, and India will be keeping an eye on how he manages his workload in the format. Injuries have minimized his bowling output for a significant period of time, but he seems to have turned the corner in recent months, bowling regularly both at the IPL and in his T20I appearances. More recently, he played a crucial role in the first T20I against England, catching four wickets and scoring a 51 of 33. -over quota on ODIs?

With grades of 0, 4 and 18, if butler had a T20I series to forget about. But the England captain is coming off an excellent streak in the ODI series against the Netherlands, where he scored 162* on 70 balls and 86* on 64 balls in his two innings. The moving ball bothered him considerably during the T20I series, but is unlikely to be a factor when he resumes his mid-order role in the ODIs.

team news

Suryakumar Yadav’s sensational century in the third T20I could give him the nod over Shreyas Iyer if India opts for four front-line players and two all-rounders. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami will likely lead the rhythm unit, with Prasidh Krishna and Mohammed Siraj in contention for the role of third cabinetmaker. The former is likely to receive the nod after a groundbreaking series against the West Indies earlier this year. Yuzvendra Chahal will in all likelihood be the only specialist spinner, with Axar Patel or Ravindra Jadeja taking on the mantle of spin-bowling all-rounder.

India had an optional net session on the eve of the game, with only Ishan Kishan and Shikhar Dhawan as expert hitters. Kishan had a long networking session. Shardul Thakur, Siraj and Shami were the players present.

India (likely): 1 Rohit Sharma (captain), 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Rishabh Pant (without), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Axar Patel/Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Mohammed Shami, 9 Jasprit Bumrah, 10 Prasidh Krishna, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal.

England’s hitting should be at full strength with Bairstow, Root and Stokes back in the white-ball mix. The composition of the sewing attack will be an interesting matter, with three left-arm fasts up for grabs from Sam Curran, David Willey and Reece Topley, with extra pace from Brydon Carse also in the mix.

England (likely): 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jonny Bairstow, 3 Joe Root, 4 Ben Stokes, 5 Jos Buttler (capt & wk), 6 Liam Livingstone, 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Sam Curran, 9 David Willey, 10 Brydon Carse/Reece Topley, 11 Matt Parkinson.

Field and conditions

There was a greenish tinge to the surface of The Oval on the eve of departure, but that might not translate to much help for the sailors given the heat wave that is going on. The temperature is expected to touch the 30-degree mark on the Celsius scale, but hitting – and running between the shutters – can become easier later in the night, under the lights. There may be some assistance for spinners as well.

Statistics and curiosities

  • David Willey and Sam Curran shared nine wickets in the last ODI played at The Oval, against Sri Lanka last year.
  • Joe Root has the most runs on the Oval among active cricketers. He scored 548 runs in 10 innings here, averaging 68.50 at five fifty-one ton.
  • Rohit Sharma has seven centuries in 24 ODI innings in England, the most by any visiting batsman. He scored 1,335 runs with an average of 66.75 in the country.

Ashish Pant is deputy editor of ESPNcricinfo

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