World Cup 2019: Ideal playing XI for India against England
Team India has managed to continue its undefeated run in the ongoing World Cup on back of some brilliant all-round performances. Both their batting and bowling departments have complemented each other well to keep India's bid for third World Cup title alive.
The batsmen faced some tough conditions in the last two matches, but they managed to get to fighting totals. The bowlers too have stepped up their game in these matches and took the onus upon themselves to ensure a victory for India. India is currently at the second position in the points table whereas England are placed 4th.
Now, India will square off against the hosts in a high octane clash at Edgbaston, Birmingham, on 27th June, in match 38 of the ICC World Cup 2019. This match is very crucial for England as they need to win this in order to have a better chance at qualifying for the semi-finals. A defeat here would mean that they need to depend on the outcomes of their games to go past the group stages. If England wins their remaining two matches they will advance to semi-finals directly.
The venue for this match Edgbaston, Birmingham has been bowler friendly so far in the tournament. The last match played here between Pakistan and New Zealand yielded a first innings score of 237/6. Pakistan chased this down in the 49th over on the back of a match-winning century by Babar Azam. Spinners looked threatening during this encounter, while the Pakistani seamers enjoyed the overcast conditions. So India will be happy to play England at the same venue.
Openers Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul have not provided good starts at the top order ever since they put on a match-winning partnership against Pakistan two matches ago. Rohit Sharma failed in the last matches so team management will be expecting a decent knock from him in the upcoming match. Virat Kohli has been his usual self as he scored four consecutive fifties in the tournament so far.
Both Kohli and his fans will definitely be disappointed that he could not convert his last two fifties into hundreds as that would have helped India to set-up better targets.
Vijay Shankar had a golden opportunity to cement his place during the last match but he perished after playing a few delightful drives. This added fuel to questions about his spot in the playing XI. His style of play looks more suited for number 6 and number 7 batting positions rather than number 4. Also, the pitch for the upcoming match might help bowlers so India should look to strengthen their middle order.
England has two really quick pacers in Jofra Archer and Mark Wood who might cause trouble to already struggling Shankar. Right now, the best option available for India is to opt for an experienced Dinesh Karthik in place of under-fire Shankar.
Team management should move MS Dhoni to the number four spot and give Karthik the finisher's role. Karthik is arguably one of the best finishers in India right now so that will not be a bad move. Also, this will provide solidity to batting line-up as their lower order is extremely weak in the absence of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
Ravindra Jadeja and Bhuvneshwar Kumar might be the other names that might be considered for selection. Shami has taken four-wicket hauls in last two matches so it would be greatly unfair to drop him for the upcoming match. So Bhuvi might have to wait for some more time on the sidelines. If the pitch bound to grip, then India might contemplate bringing in Jadeja for Kuldeep Yadav.
India's ideal playing XI:
Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Mohammad Shami, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah
Also see – India vs England head to head stats