If the three T20Is were any indication, the ODI series promises to be a thrilling one-minute race. England have built a reputation for going hard from the start in both white-ball formats, and India, who are traditionally known for building up their innings methodically before going big in deathmatches, have also gone the total aggressive route in the T20I series. Whether or not they will continue with this approach in the ODIs remains to be seen, but conditions should allow for a fast run, with the surfaces at The Oval generally being some of the flattest in England.
Both teams head into the series thanks to excellent ODI histories. England have lost just one of their last 10 ODIs and have just racked up the highest ODI tally in history against the Netherlands. India, meanwhile, have won six of their last 10 games in the format, which includes a 3-0 sweep of the West Indies at home earlier this year.
Jos Buttler’s debut as captain of the T20I hasn’t quite gone to plan, but with the return of Ben Stokes, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root, England’s batting line-up will be at full strength in the ODIs. But the bowling seems a little thin, especially in the spin department. Matt Parkinson wasn’t at his best in the T20I series, nor was Moeen Ali, and Livingstone’s mix of offset and legs was carted for 74 runs in his five overs across the three games. If the ongoing heat wave in the UK causes pitches to dry out, spin could play a big part in the series, as could cutters and changes of pace from faster bowlers.
England WWWWWW (last five completed ODIs, most recent first)
In the spotlight
Suryakumar Yadav’s sensational century in the third T20I could earn him the green light over Shreyas Iyer, if India go for four front row bowlers and two all-rounders. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami are likely to lead the pace unit, with a draw between Prasidh Krishna and Mohammed Siraj for the role of third dressmaker. The former is likely to get the green light after a breakthrough series against West Indies earlier this year. Yuzvendra Chahal will in all likelihood be the sole spinner specialist, with Axar Patel or Ravindra Jadeja taking over in allrounder spin bowling.
India had an optional net session on the eve of the match, with only Ishan Kishan and Shikhar Dhawan as specialist hitters. Kishan had a long net session. Shardul Thakur, Siraj and Shami were the bowlers present.
India (likely): 1 Rohit Sharma (captain), 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Rishabh Pant (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Axar Patel/Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Mohammed Shami, 9 Jasprit Bumrah, 10 Prasidh Krishna, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal.
The English stick should be at full strength with Bairstow, Root and Stokes back in the white ball mix. The composition of the seam attack will be an interesting question, with three fast left-arms vying for Sam Curran, David Willey and Reece Topley, with the added pace of Brydon Carse also in the mix.
England (likely): 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jonny Bairstow, 3 Joe Root, 4 Ben Stokes, 5 Jos Buttler (capt & wk), 6 Liam Livingstone, 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Sam Curran, 9 David Willey, 10 Brydon Carse/Reece Topley, 11 Matt Parkinson.
Location and conditions
There was a greenish tinge to the surface of The Oval on the eve of the match, but that might not translate to much help for the tailors given the heat wave that is raging. The temperature is expected to touch the 30 degree mark on the Celsius scale, but hitting – and running between wickets – could become easier later in the evening under the lights. There might also be help for spinners.
Statistics and anecdotes
- David Willey and Sam Curran shared nine wickets in the last ODI played at The Oval, against Sri Lanka last year.
- Joe Root has the most runs at the Oval among active cricketers. He scored 548 runs in 10 innings here, averaging 68.50 with five fifty-one tons.
- Rohit Sharma has seven centuries in 24 ODI innings in England, the most by any visiting batter. He scored 1335 runs at an average of 66.75 in the country.
Ashish Pant is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo
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