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India will look to salvage some pride in the upcoming One-Day Internationals (ODI) after being thrashed 1-3 in the recent Test series against England.. Amit Banerjee takes a look at some of the key battles between the players from either side that are expected to take place in the first ODI at Bristol..
Virat Kohli vs James Anderson: The performances of the two have been polar opposites during the Tests. Kohli had a forgettable outing with the bat, having scored a mere 134 runs in 10 innings at a poor average of 13.40, and came under heavy fire from all corners, with some blaming him for paying more attention to his girlfriend that to the game. Anderson on the other hand was terrific and ended up as the highest wicket-taker in the series with 25 scalps. The latter dismissed Kohli five times during the series, who found it difficult to handle the bounce and pace courtesy the conditions. Kohli, who has been known for his fightbacks and will look to turn things around soon. Kohli has been found fishing outside off and Anderson will be eager to repeat the same early in the innings.
Suresh Raina vs Moeen Ali: Raina is one of the better players of spin in the side and returns to the squad after a successful tour of Bangladesh earlier this year in June. Moeen on the other hand is currently on a wicket-taking high, having claimed 19 wickets in the Tests and emerging the unlikely hero of the side. While Raina is known to be an ODI specialist and a great addition to the middle-order, what remains to be seen how he tackles the turners from Ali. Raina’s footwork against spinners can unsettle the bowler. In any case, neither can afford to take the other lightly.
Eoin Morgan vs Stuart Binny: While the hard-hitting Irish-born England batsman had a disappointing series against Sri Lanka at home earlier this summer, Stuart Binny has had a disappointing run in the recent Tests against England. Binny, whose figures of 6 for 4 is currently the best ODI figures by an Indian bowler, was carrying a lot of expectations for the England, but ended up being underutilised by his team. While Binny hopes to change his fortunes in the shorter format, Morgan will look to start his World Cup preparation in style by smashing the bowlers all over the park.
Alex Hales vs Mohit Sharma: Hales thanked the Indian Premier League (IPL) franchises for not picking him in this year’s edition, allowing him to improve his batting skills in the process. The 25 year-old considers himself an ODI-specialist and will be looking to fulfill the expectations from him. In the Indian camp, Mohit Sharma will be the key. Mohit has gained the trust of the skipper opening the bowling for Chennai Super Kings. Mohit has a fair experience of keeping aggressive batsmen tied down and bag their wickets on many occassions. Mohit is a clever bowler and the skipper will be keen to use him against the hard-hitting Hales.
Joe Root vs Bhuneshwar Kumar: Root emerged the leading run-scorer in the Tests thanks to some scintillating performances courtesy two centuries and three half-centuries. Bhuvneshwar on the other hand has been the most prolific Indian bowler in the Tests and was handy with the bat in the first two Tests. It will interesting to see who emerges victorious when the two collide in the limited-overs. Root will once again be the key in the English middle-order and India’s best bowler on this tour so far will have to find the back of one of their best batsmen soon.
(Amit Banerjee, a reporter at CricketCountry, takes keen interest in photography, traveling, technology, automobiles, food and, of course, cricket. He can be followed on Twitter via his handle @akb287)
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