After England beat the hapless Australian team 5-0 in the recently completed ODI series in June, certain commentators were adamant about “this” England side and what they could achieve.
Enter India, arguably, in my mind anyway, the best limited overs side in the world today. They not only have world-class batsmen, and the best batsman in the world in Virat Kohli, but they have world-class bowlers too, who can bowl in any conditions. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav have proven they are the real deal.
Spin twins, Chahal and Kuldeep provide Kohli with a great weapon, attacking spinners that can keep the run rate down in the middle overs. Gone are the days of Ashwin who, whilst a great bowler in home conditions, is a shadow of that on foreign soil.
KL Rahul has emerged as a talented batsman, and he should be opening the batting in my opinion. Shikhar Dhawan’s scores in the T20 series were 4, 10 & 12. Rahul may as well just open. T20s are a fast paced game, where a lacklustre 2 overs can cost you, you need your best batsmen at the top, and that for me, is KL Rahul.
What England do possess is an attacking opening pair in Jason Roy and Jos Buttler. They have been banking on their “X Factor” player Buttler to get them off to good starts, and they are relying on Bairstow and Stokes to get lower order runs. But what if these players don’t fire? You can just gamble on scoring huge totals every game, sometimes it doesn’t work out that way, sometimes your bowlers will have to win you the games.
England don’t have the same bowling prowess as they have in the batting department. They didn’t feel this against the Aussies because Australia are a team in ruins at the moment, but against a good batting line up, it showed.
This Indian side is not like any other and they proved that with their comprehensive 2-1 win in the T20 series against England.
The three match ODI series will be an interesting affair. Can India do to England what they did to South Africa earlier this year? Will they continue to exert their dominance? Only time will tell.
The first ODI starts in Nottingham on Thursday 12th July at 12:30 local time.