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India vs England 4th ODI at Birmingham: England’s likely XI

Alex Hales has been the lone bright sport for England in the ODIs so far © Gett\y Images
Alex Hales has been the lone bright sport for England in the ODIs so far © Gett\y Images

India bowled England out for a modest 227, only to chase the target down with ease with six wickets and a plenty of overs to spare in the third One-Day International at Trent Bridge. The second consecutive defeat at the hands of the opposition they had recently humbled in Test series should have some impact on its lineup. Amit Banerjee sheds more light on the likely lineup for the fourth One-Day International (ODI) at Edgbaston.

The ODI series between England and India is firmly in favour of the the latter after the visitors won the second and third games by margins of 133 runs (D/L method) and six wickets, with the first game getting washed out. The Indians have shown a tremendous turnaround of things after losing three consecutive Tests earlier in the tour in the most embarrasing fashion.

While the Indians have been impressive performance in all departments, especially their fielding which was outstanding in the last two ODIs  and helped stifle the English run flow, the hosts have a great deal of questions to be answered for the current series. Although some may speculate that they are taking the ODIs lightly after winning the Tests with huge margins, although the England camp would be thinking otherwise given that the 2015 World Cup is less than six months away.

A few changes might be expected in the lineup for Tuesday’s game, given that skipper Cook has made his intentions clear of tackling the Indian spinners, who have wreaked havoc in the last two games, and to post stronger batting performances in the upcoming games. Following are the players likely to feature in the fourth fixture of the ODI series:

Alastair Cook: English Alastair Cook skipper top-scored for his side in the third ODI in which England were bowled out for 227, a slightly better performance than the one at Sophia Gardens. Though Geoffrey Boycott has asked for his removal along with several other leading batsmen, he is expected to be a mainstay in the top-order, given the fact that he recently managed to shut his critics up with a flamboyant performances during the Tests.

Alex Hales: The young Middlesex batsman is enjoying an impressive ODI debut series, being the highest run-getter in the series so far among the England batsmen. Will be expected to join hands with Cook in order to give England a good start in the fourth ODI, which is a crucial fixture for the hosts if they are to avoid a series loss.

Ian Bell: Bell has had a disappointing ODI series so far, after having a fairly successful outing in the Tests. Though Bell was another name in Boycott’s axing list, he is likely to stick around for some more time.

Joe Root: Root is having a bad run with the bat in the current series, scoring only six runs in the last two games. The Yorkshire lad, who was the leading run-scorer during the Tests, was given the responsibility of boosting the top-order in the ODIs, given that he has a fairly decent ODI strike rate of 79.

Eoin Morgan: Morgan has registered scores of 28 and 10 in the two games so far. Though those performances speak nothing of his talent and his ability to tear the opposition attack into pieces on his day, he has to catch up in terms of his scores if he intends to finalise a spot in the World Cup squad.

Jos Buttler: Buttler made a useful contribution in the previous encounter at Trent Bridge with an innings of 42 from 58 balls, helping England move past the 200-run mark. Buttler will be expected to continue playing the crucial role of the middle-order mainstay in the remaining games, aside from  scoring some quick runs for his team given his remarkable ODI strike-rate of 122.

Moeen Ali: Cook may bring unveil the surprise in the form of Moeen Ali on Tuesday. Ali, who was India’s wrecker-in-chief during the Test series by picking 19 wickets, finishing as the highest wicket-taker behind James Anderson. His inclusion may be expected, given the damage that the Indian spinners are inflicting ont England and are expected to continue for the rest of the tour. Ali’s prowess with the bat will also come in handy in contributing for England in the lower-middle order and providing England some late hitting.

Chris Woakes: Woakes was destructive in the second game of the series at Cardiff, where he finished with figures of four for 52, including the scalp of Suresh Raina. Though having an average outing in the third game, Woakes could be a useful bet in the fourth game, given his good run with the ball for England and Durham lately.

James Tredwell: The right-arm offspinner was among the leading wicket-takers during the England- Sri Lanka ODI series, earlier in the summer. Though he hasn’t produced a clinical performance so far, especially in the third game which saw four Indian spinners share eight wickets amongst themselves.

Steve Finn: Finn’s inclusion in the third ODI did not produce much of a result finished with figures of one for 50 from eight overs at an average of over 6. He might still be included given the green nature of the wicket which will support fast-bowlers, especially the likes of Finn and Anderson.

James Anderson: The prolific Lancashire pacer was economical in the third one-dayer, conceding 29 runs from seven overs at an economy of 4 runs per over. Though Anderson is yet to experience the success that came his way in the Tests, he is certainly a safe bet for the Edgbaston pitch.

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)

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