India vs England: 'Gabbar' Shikhar Dhawan's form is a big concern
Their biggest is the form of opener Shikhar Dhawan and inconsistent performance of their strike bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who also has a niggle, and Kuldeep Yadav
India go into the three-match ODI series with their confidence high after clinching the T20I series. But that does not mean they do not have worries. Their biggest is the form of opener Shikhar Dhawan and inconsistent performance of their strike bowlers Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who also has a niggle, and Kuldeep Yadav. Before the first ODI at Trent Bridge, the Indian think-tank would be in dilemma whether to re-induct Bhuvneshwar and Kuldeep in the playing XI after dropping them at Bristol for the final T20I.
Trent Bridge is a big ground, unlike at Cardiff and Bristol. So, the conditions would not be as adverse to give the duo a look-in for this game. Having persisted with Dhawan in all the three T20I matches, India would like to give him a longer rope as he can tear any bowling attack on his day when set. The only problem has been that "his days" are fewer these days. An in-form Dhawan, accompanying Rohit Sharma at the top of the order, gives the Indian batting line-up the right balance.
Skipper Virat Kohli is due for a big inning, though he had a decent outing in Bristol. A big one from him will not only boost his confidence for the long tour ahead, but also sooth the nerves of the team management. Kohli is keen to improve his record in England. This is the right moment for him to get going. Talking to the media yesterday, Rohit Sharma said: "We realise it is a high-scoring ground, and both teams would prefer to chase. But what is more important is to play well, either chasing or defending. It is important for the teams to begin the short series on a positive note."
England fought well in the T20 series and one might say that had they won the toss and chased a target in Bristol, they could have bagged the series. They now need to put behind the disappointment behind them and look to dominate the Indians in a battle for supremacy in the 50-over format.
Morgan's poor run
England will be concerned over the form of their skipper Eoin Morgan. He has been leading the side well, but he needs to contribute with the bat. Invariably his early dismissal leads to their innings losing the momentum. With India possessing a strong batting line-up, they realise that every time they need to set a target which is well above the par score in order to put pressure on the rivals.
"Top two ODI teams clashing on a featherbed of a pitch is sure to produce a battle that the spectators are bound to enjoy. We have been playing well over the last two seasons and hopefully we will continue to do so," Joe Root said about England's chances.
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