Home > Features >

India vs England 2014: Hosts need to zero in on batting spine ahead of ODI series

It's time for England to prove themselves in the limited over's format as well © Getty Images
It’s time for England to prove themselves in the limited-over’s format as well © Getty Images

Alex Hales being given the nod to open the nod for opening the batting with skipper Alistair Cook has its pluses and pitfalls. R Vishal discusses the how England can solve the middle order conundrum and what kind of lineup they should go for in the first One-Day International (ODI) against India.

Opening with a combination of a muscular, big-hitting batsman and plodder who can stockpile runs and drop anchor at the other is nothing new in international cricket. It’s been two decades since teams have approached the early powerplay overs with this mindset. England, though have been rather slow to warm up to the idea. With the game undergoing dramatic changes in structure and rules with every summer, few captains took the 50-over game seriously since World Cup 1992, where England reached the final.

The pattern looked like changing at a certain point with Craig Kieswetter and the maverick, Kevin Pietersen pushed at the top of the order. The results, however, was mixed and the English went back to their tried and untested formula. With Alastair Cook confirming Hales’ inclusion in the playing XI, the team management have quite a task ahead with their middle order.

Possibility 1: Ian Bell, Gary Ballance, Joe Root at Nos 3, 4 & 5:

If stability is what England is looking for, Ian Bell comes in at one down and Balance being shifted down to No 4 and Joe Root coming in at No 5. The flexibility of these batsmen creates multiple possibilities for the team and England can use this to their advantage by shuffling these three batsmen depending on the scenario at hand. Wicketkeeper  Jos Buttler comes in at No 7 and either of Ben Stokes/Chris Woakes/Moeen Ali in the line-up.

Moeen Ali — in or out?

Moeen Ali deserves credit for proving his critics wrong in the Test series. With England continuing to do away with a specialist spinner in the lineup, Moeen Ali had the Indian batsmen in a spin. There is no guarantee that he could enjoy even a modicum of that success in coloured clothing. His batting form has been shaky and struggles with the short ball. Nailing down a spot is going to be hard to come by from here on.

Ben Stokes vs Chris Woakes:

Chris Woakes, despite not possessing the natural talent of Ben Stokes acquitted himself well recently, which saw Ben Stokes lose his spot after his heroics in Australia earlier in the year. Stokes’s poor form since his injury return coupled with Woakes’s inexperience means that Moeen Ali can take the specialist all-rounder spot.

Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014

(R Vishal is a journalist and alumnus of Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 87 runs

Photos

Australia vs South Africa, 3rd ODI at Canberra

Videos

SL vs Eng: Buttler practices wicketkeeping in nets

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Highlights

Australia vs South Africa 2014, 5th ODI at Sydney: Highlights

Quinton de Kock’s century in vain as Australia register two wicket win over South Africa

Saeed Ajmal: 99 per cent bowlers will fail 15 degree test

Tamim Iqbal, Anamul Haque register second-highest opening partnership for Bangladesh in ODIs

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India New Zealand Pakistan South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Tour Game at Adelaide: Pacers ensure advantage at Lunch

Live Cricket Score: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide

Live Scorecard: Indians vs Cricket Australia XI, 1st Practice Match at Adelaide

Michael Clarke, Shane Watson, Ryan Harris, Josh Hazlewood named in Australia’s squad for 1st Test against India

Sri Lanka vs England 2014: Moeen Ali, Alastair Cook’s form bodes well, says Mark Ramprakash

Single-wicket cricket match between John Grange and James Sadler lasts three days

Bill Ashdown and Bert Wensley beat a team of 11 all by themselves

Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina in interesting tussle ahead of India’s Test series against Australia

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Robin Uthappa, Yuvraj Singh, Manish Pandey will get another chance to impress in final

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014, 2nd ODI at Chittagong: Highlights

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

681 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Virat Kohli vs Australian cricketers

Watch Free Live Streaming & Telecast of Indian Super League (ISL) 2014 Football 37th Match between Kerala Blasters FC vs Atletico de Kolkata

PK Tharki Chokro making: Rancho aka Aamir Khan and Munna Bhai aka Sanjay Dutt shake legs to this folk number

Simbu-Hansika’s Vaalu slated for Christmas release!

Yeh Hai Mohabbatein: Will Raman and Ishita help Mihika with her plans?

Alibaba to launch its Taobao marketplace in international markets: Reuters

8 reasons to add rosemary to your diet

eBay India ‘Black Friday’ sale kicks off today

How many calories do bananas have?

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here