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England's predicted playing XI for the 1st ODI v India

After two intriguing series, a third promises to add to a riveting tour.
After two intriguing series, a third promises to add to a riveting tour.
ANALYST
Modified 23 Mar 2021
Feature

On a tour which was always going to be challenging, England see themselves on the wrong side of two series results. Both the Test series and the T20I leg had convincing starts, but fell away towards the end as debutants from the home side trumped the pedigreed English unit.

With a spot in the ICC World Test Championship Final lost, along with a hard-fought T20I series title, England turn to the ODI series in their hunt for silverware on this tour. The reigning world champions and top-ranked team in this format, Eoin Morgan's men have a few issues to sort out regarding their team composition.

For starters, how do they utilise Ben Stokes' all-round abilities better? The southpaw batted low in the T20I lineup and didn't complete his quota of overs, prompting Kevin Pietersen to lambast the team for the same.

Sam Curran endured a somewhat insipid series for once barring a memorable wicket-maiden first over to KL Rahul, with both he and brother Tom not quite providing England with strong seam backup. The departure of Joe Root leaves England with a hole at No. 3, leaving them needing either a new cog or a batting rejig.

For England to maintain a strong grip on their No. 1 ranking in ODIs, here is the predicted playing XI for the first ODI against India.


Openers: Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow

Jason Roy found his touch in the T20Is and will look for the big knocks.
Jason Roy found his touch in the T20Is and will look for the big knocks.

Jason Roy enjoyed a profitable series against India for most part, getting the team off to quick starts. Though he fell occasionally to off-spin and swing, England would bank on their opener to pile on the runs in probably their strongest format over the past six years.

Partnering him will be Jonny Bairstow, as Alex Hales continues to remain beyond the England radar. Though Bairstow was a sitting duck in the Test series against the likes of Axar Patel, he batted far more freely in the T20Is. What England would want is more consistency - though Bairstow showed his ability to clear the infield, he rarely got much more than good starts.

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Published 23 Mar 2021, 09:00 IST
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