The Indians will look to emulate their performance in the 2nd ODI © Getty Images
India and England clash at Trent Bridge for the third ODI. While India would be elated for their thumping win in the previous encounter at Cardiff, they cannot afford to take their opposition lightly. Amit Banerjee takes a look at the possible XI that India would be fielding on Saturday.
India would arrive at Nottingham a confident side after their resounding 133-run victory over England at the Sophia Gardens in Cardiff. MS Dhoni’s boys showed the consistency and domination in second game which they had been lacking for some time now. During the Test series, India failed to build up on the confidence that they got after a memorable victory at Lord’s, losing the next three Tests in a row.
Like their previous nightmarish English tour, many had expected the side devoid of motivation to show further slump during the limited-overs’ engagements. But the second game erased such thoughts, if only temporarily. Raina’s century along with the contributions of Dhoni, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja among others reminded everyone at the scene as to why they were the world champions in the first place.
Rohit Sharma’s injury should come in as a piece of bad news for the Indian camp, especially after him scoring an impressive half-century in the previous encounter. His place is expected to be taken over by Murali Vijay. Following are the players likely to take field in the third game on Saturday:
Murali Vijay: Rohit Sharma’s injury comes in as a disappointment both for the Indian fans as well as for the Mumbai Indians skipper himself. Vijay, on the other hand, will look forward to utilise this opportunity to cement his place in the One-Day International (ODI) side ahead of the World Cup, aside from improving his ODI statistics, which are a tad dismal in comparison to his Test feats.
Shikhar Dhawan: Dhawan has lately been out of form, though he still packs a punch and can propel India to the rollicking starts that they need during the ODIs and the T20. Dhawan scored a mere 122 runs in six innings at a disappointing average of 20.3 and will be looking to avoid the axe with a crucial innings in the third ODI.
Virat Kohli: Kohli’s horror with the bat continues in the England tour. The Delhi lad has been one of India’s most consistent players in overseas tours and is known to adapt to any condition and bowling. The recent Test series however saw him score 134 runs in 10 innings at an average of 13.40, which is a matter of deep concern for someone as talented as him.
Ajinkya Rahane: Rahane was among the top five run-getters in the Tests, finishing at a tally one-run shy of 300 at an average of 33, with a century and two half-centuries to his credit. He made a useful contribution in the previous game with a knock of 41 off 47 balls.
Suresh Raina: Raina made a grand comeback into the squad with a 75-ball whirlwind innings of 100 in the second game at Cardiff. The UP batsman did not make much of an impact during the Bangladesh tour and underwent extensive training before his arrival in England. A couple of such innings during the rest of the tour should see Raina move up substantially in the ICC ODI batsmen rankings.
MS Dhoni: The Indian skipper has refused to let the Test drubbing pull his spirit down into the gutter as he led his side to a resounding win the in the second game and an ODI series win would redeem him of all the hate that he had garnered during the Tests. He has excelled with the bat throughout the series and will be expected to be the middle-order mainstay as well as the finisher.
Ravindra Jadeja: Jadeja managed to silence his critics, who had been targeting him for his lack of performance with either the bat or the ball during the Tests, by capturing four wickets for a sum of 28 runs to skittle the home side out for a mere 161. Jadeja will also be expected to choose his shots more carefully and play a more responsible innings in order to support Dhoni in the middle order.
Ravichandran Ashwin: Ashwin has had an average tour so far, but he is not likely to be benched for a youngster to occupy his place. He dismissed James Tredwell to end the English innings and ended with figures of two for 38.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: Kumar was a great discovery with the bat during the first couple of Tests, with a couple of gritty half-centuries and a memorable six-wicket haul in the first innings of the Lord’s Test. Though his momentum has somewhat fizzled out in the last few encounters, he will still be crucial to the bowling attack and may just contribute valuable runs as a tail-ender.
Mohammed Shami: His average figures in the tour are an understatement to the immense talent that this young lad possesses. Shami hasn’t leaked many runs so far either, with his figures in the last encounter being two wickets for 32 runs.
Mohit Sharma: The Haryanvi pacer broke into the national squad three years after making his mark in the domestic circuit. His disciplined figures of none for 18 in six overs is an example of his consistency with the line and length that he displays regardless of the conditions.
Complete coverage of India’s tour to England here
(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)