The much-awaited India’s long tour of England finally kicked-off last week. India began their tour by thrashing a harmless Ireland side in a two-match T20I series. In the past two years, England had used any T20I series as an opportunity to rest their key players but for a change, they announced a full-strength squad for the T20I series against India.
Kuldeep Yadav and Lokesh Rahul starred in the first match to give India a 1-0 lead. Alex Hales's heroics in the second match helped England to level the series 1-1. However, Rohit Sharma’s brilliance in the final ODI sealed the series for the visitors.
With one-third of the tour completed, the second phase of the tour will start on July 12, 2018. India will be looking to carry on their momentum to the ODI series. On the other hand, England will seem to forget the T20I series and move on to their favourite format of the recent times.
On a personal note, the upcoming ODI series will be very crucial for few of the players in both the teams. Let us look at five such players for whom the forthcoming ODI series will be very crucial.
#1 Joe Root
In the extended format of the game, Joe Root is a part of an elite group named ‘Fab 4’. Steve Smith, Virat Kohli, and Kane Williamson are the other three members. Among them, Kohli has achieved equal success in all the three formats of the game. Smith and Williamson have moderate success in the limited formats of the game. On the other hand while Root is currently standing on the edge of exit from England’s T20 plans.
Despite averaging 49.82 in ODIs, Root’s limited overs career seems to be in trouble all of a sudden. With Hales in prime form and Stokes returning from injury, Root’s place in the ODI side seems uncertain now. With a squad full of explosive openers and all-rounders, Morgan and Root are the only two proper middle-order batsmen.
By keeping their last ODI against Australia in mind, England might stick with Root in the ODI. If there is an ugly collapse in an innings, then Root can provide stability in one end. Besides, the snub from the last T20I will motivate him more to perform better in the ODI series.