5 Vital players for India during the Limited Overs Series against England

It will be a vital three months for India in England.
It will be a vital three months for India in England.
Kartik Seth

Exactly two weeks from this day, India will embark on a three-month-long and important tour to England where they will face the host across all the three formats in 11 fixtures.

It all starts with three T20I matches followed by an equal number of ODI matches, and, when you take into consideration the performance of both teams in the recent past, these two series promise to be a very thrilling affair.

While England will be hoping to keep their impressive record at home intact, India will be looking to repeat their historic ODI win in England the last time out in 2015.

The last 12 months have been very good for India in limited-overs formats, with established players continuing to perform well and new and upcoming players making a solid mark with their performances.

Here are the five players who will play a vital role during the limited overs series against England.

#5 MS Dhoni

MS was in the form of his life in IPL 2018.
Mahi was in the form of his life in IPL 2018

Relinquishing the National Team captaincy has done wonders for Mahendra Singh Dhoni as he has been playing the best cricket of his life. On one hand, he has found his long-lost ability to finish and scoring the runs in the death overs in ODI cricket, and on the other side, his strike rate is also on the upward path as evident from his fantastic performance in IPL 2018.

With India struggling to have a stable middle order in Limited Overs Cricket, Dhoni will have even more responsibilities on his shoulders.

Not only will he have to pace up the inning in the later stage of the innings, he will have the additional responsibility of building up the inning with other lower card players.

Dhoni performance in 2017, where he scored almost 800 runs at an average of over 60, clearly demonstrated his resurgent form. Dhoni has toured England thrice already and will be looking to leave a mark in this tour as well, which is probably his last one to England.

#4 Jasprit Bumrah

The highest rated ODI bowler in the world.
The highest rated ODI bowler in the world.

This will be the first time that India will be visiting England on a tour with a bowling attack that can give the England bowlers a run for their money. The process of Indian fast bowlers, this time, are on par with their England counterpart, and Jasprit Bumrah is the main force behind this resurgence.

Ever since his debut in 2016, Bumrah has gone on to become one of India's first choice fast bowlers along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. In fact, he was the third highest wicket-taker in ODI's in 2017, was equally impressive in T20Is and, as usual, was at his very best in the recent edition of IPL.

With the English conditions supporting pace and bounce, Bumrah will play a very important role in India's quest in England. If his performance in the 2017 Champions Trophy is taken as an example, Bumrah will prove to be a game changer for India in the upcoming matches.

#3 Shikhar Dhawan

A familiar location for India's Gabbar.
A familiar location for India's Gabbar.

There is some special love affair between Shikhar Dhawan and England as he has made sure he exploited the conditions there to the fullest every time he visited that nation.

We all remember his exceptional performances in the 2013 and 2017 Champion Trophies, and it was his performance in the latter that began his tremendous streak with the bat.

Be it Test, ODI or T20 cricket Dhawan has scored runs both for India and Sunrisers Hyderabad, in the last 12 months.

With Rohit Sharma struggling with form ever since the start of this year, there will be a lot of extra pressure and responsibility on Shikhar Dhawan to give blazing starts to the team.

In the recent past, matches in England have usually been high scoring contests, and the opening batsmen play a very big role in laying the foundations of such innings. Shikhar is familiar with the conditions there, and will be looking to repeat his majestic performance again.

#2 Bhuvneshwar Kumar

Player of the series the last time India visited England.
India's premier fast bowler

Bhuvi and the playing conditions in England is a match made up in heaven. Here is a man who is known throughout the cricketing fraternity as probably the best swing bowler of the present generation, and the playing conditions in England, where there is constant wind, are tailor-made for him.

His importance to the squad can be calculated from the fact that the last time India visited England for a full tour in 2014, he was India's most successful bowler and even won the Player of the Series in the Test Series.

Apart from swing, Bhuvi has developed a new ability of bowling yorkers during the death overs, something that is a crucial weapon in any bowlers arsenal.

Just like his fantastic performance in South Africa earlier this year, Bhuvi will have a lot of responsibility on his shoulders to lead the Indian bowling lineup for almost three months.

Bhuvi has been bowling brilliantly for more than 12 months now, and if India wants to win in England, he has to play the role of the game changer with the ball.

#1 Virat Kohli

The Captain of Indian cricket team.
The Captain of Indian cricket team.

It doesn't matter which team you are playing against or in which country you are playing. If you have Virat Kohli in your squad, then he is the most vital player in your team. Ever since the start of this year, Virat Kohli has been the best batsmen across all the formats of cricket.

He tore through the South African bowling in January and then, despite the poor outing for Royal Challengers Bangalore, played at his very best in IPL as well. England has not usually been too good a territory for Kohli, and he will be looking to prove his mantle during that three-month tour.

Not only this, Kohli has the extra burden of leading the team. Kohli struggled big time during India's previous tour to England, but a lot has changed since then. Kohli is among the top-rated batsmen in all the formats of the game and has lead India superbly in the past 12 years.

In order to achieve unprecedented success in England this time, Kohli has to forget his past demons in England, show some confidence in himself and his team and play the best cricket of his life.

Which of these Indian players will create the biggest impact? Sound off in the comments section below!

Edited by Alan John
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