India has been on a roll in its ongoing battle against England. First India won the four-match Test series 3-1 and qualified for the final of the ICC World Test Championship as well. Then India came back from being 1-2 down in the five-match T20I series and won it 3-2.
After such tremendous victories, India and England will lock horns in a three-match ODI series in the last leg of a long tour. All the matches will be played behind closed doors in the MCA stadium in Pune, Maharashtra. The ODIs will be played on March 23, 26, and 28.
Ahead of the first ODI Team COC takes a look at the potential India team and presents the COC predicted Team India Playing XI for the 1st ODI against England.
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India has a host of options to open the innings with Rohit Sharma with Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, and KL Rahul in the fray.
The Delhi left-hander played just one T20I against England but is coming off a 153 against Maharashtra in the recent Vijay Hazare Trophy outing. India might be tempted to play Dhawan over other choices to continue the left-right combination at the top and the previous record of Dhawan-Rohit as ODI openers.
The middle-order is more or less settled with KL Rahul, who kept in the series against New Zealand and Australia in early 2020 continuing to do so. Virat Kohli is expected to bat at his no.3 spot, with Shreyas Iyer retaining his no.4 batting position.
Rishabh Pant might need to wait his turn to make an ODI comeback, or if he does, it might come at expense of KL Rahul, as they are both vying for the keeper spot in the playing XI.
Hardik Pandya will be back at no.6 batting position and India might be enticed to give his brother Krunal his ODI debut given his terrific form with the bat and the ball in the recent Vijay Hazare Trophy for Baroda. He might be partnered with Yuzvendra Chahal in the spin department, given his experience and the variety that he brings to the table.
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Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, and T Natarajan are expected to be the fast bowling contingent for India with Hardik Pandya assisting with a couple of overs as well.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s return is a blessing for India, given that India is missing their two experienced bowlers in Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami in this series. Mohammed Siraj provides the express pace and T Natarajan gives the variety and death bowling expertise to the Men in Blue team.
COC Predicted India playing XI for the first ODI against England in Pune:
Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, T Natarajan, Yuzvendra Chahal