Run feast on the cards at Trent Bridge and other England v India ODI series talking points

Ashish Peter 11/07/2018
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Trent Bridge has thrown up some huge totals in recent times.

After a closely fought T20I series which served up plenty of entertainment, England and India will lock horns once again in the first of the three ODIs at Trent Bridge on Thursday.

Virat Kohli’s men clinched the three-match 20-over contest 2-1 to take the early bragging rights ahead of what will be a long English summer for them with the five-match Test series to follow the ODIs.

With the ODI series promising to be an equally entertaining affair if not more, we look at the key talking points ahead of the Trent Bridge opener.

SHIKHAR DHAWAN’S FORM REMAINS A WORRY FOR INDIA

While India’s top-order batsmen in Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Kohli all fired in the T20 series, the form of Shikhar Dhawan remains a huge concern. Dhawan’s tour of the UK started with a sparkling knock of 74 in the first T20 against Ireland at Dublin.

Since then, it has all gone downhill for the India opener who managed to score a paltry 19 runs in three outings on English soil. With England possessing a batting-unit which bats deep, India will need its top-order to be on their game and as such, Dhawan will be under pressure to deliver the goods.

The left-hander will look to draw from his performance in the ICC Champions Trophy in England last year where he finished as the leading run-scorer, troubling the scorers for 338 in five matches.

Dhawan was completely off-colour in the T20 series.

Dhawan was completely off-colour in the T20 series.

TUSSLE FOR NO.1 CROWN

The ODIs will see the top two ranked outfits in the world go head-to-head against each other with Eoin Morgan‘s side looking to defend their status as the best 50-over-side in the world.

Building up to next year’s World Cup in England and Wales, the Three Lions currently have a four-point lead over the second-ranked Indians and a single victory in either of the three ODIs will mean that they will retain that mantle at the end of the series.

Kohli’s men, on the other hand, need to inflict a 3-0 whitewash on the hosts to leapfrog them in the ranking table. That, by all means, will be no easy task given how convincingly England recently swept aside arch rivals Australia by a thumping 5-0 margin in the format.

The two ODI outfits in the world will tussle for the No1 crown.

The two best ODI outfits in the world will tussle for the No.1 crown.

RUN FEAST ON OFFER AT NOTTINGHAM

The last time Trent Bridge hosted an ODI, England scored a world-record 481-6 against the Aussies as they went on to notch up a gigantic 242-run win. The ground is gaining notoriety for its high-scoring clashes with England’s previous world-record total of 444-3 coming at the same venue against Pakistan in August 2016.

Much of the same could be on offer in batting-friendly and humid Nottingham conditions on Thursday, coupled with the fact both sides possess explosive and experienced rosters with the willow.

Bowlers from both sides could be in for a hard day at the office and it will not be a surprise to see another 400-run plus total up on the board.

England scored a world record 481 at the ground recently.

England scored a world record 481 at the ground recently.

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Virat Kohli should continue to bat at number four in ODI series against England, Sourav Ganguly claims

Sudhir Gupta 11/07/2018
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Ganguly feels Kohli at number four makes India stronger.

Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly believes Virat Kohli should continue batting in the No.4 position in the three-match ODI series against England which gets underway on Thursday at Trent Bridge.

Kohli, who usually bats at his customary No.3 position, moved down the order to accommodate the in-form KL Rahul in that spot during the recent three-match T20 series. That move, according to Ganguly, has given India a formidable batting-order.

“If you look at this T20I series, I think they have formed the proper batting line-up. With Rahul at number three, and Virat Kohli batting at number four, I think the problem has been sorted out. And I firmly believe it is the right thing to do in the ODI format as well,” the former India skipper said during the UK launch of his book ‘A Century is Not Enough’.

Rahul struck a magnificent ton batting at No3 in the first T20.

Rahul struck a magnificent ton batting at No3 in the first T20.

“I think that’s what Kohli is doing to do as well,” Ganguly added.

After India won the T20 series 2-1, Ganguly feels they will be the favourites for the ODIs as well due to England’s unconvincing bowling attack.

“England are a good side. They are a very good batting unit but bowling is the weaker part of their game. The way India won in Bristol when chasing 200, they will fancy their chances against this English bowling line-up in the ODI series,” Ganguly opined.

Kohli and his men will have their eyes on the No.1 ODI ranking in the three-match series against England with a 3-0 whitewash guaranteeing India top spot.

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Pat Cummins predicts India captain Virat Kohli will not score a century on their tour of Australia

Sudhir Gupta 10/07/2018
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Pat Cummins (right) is convinced Virat Kohli (left) will not score a century

Australia pacer Pat Cummins has made a bold prediction that Virat Kohli will not score a century against them when India tour Down Under later this year.

India will travel to Australia in November for a three-match T20I series, four Tests and three ODIs from November. The last time Kohli played in Australia, he struck four Test centuries, scoring 692 runs at 86.50.

But Cummins is convinced Kohli won’t be celebrating a single century on Australian soil.

“My brave, bold prediction … I’d say I think Virat Kohli is not going to get a hundred and we’re going to knock them off over here,” Cummins said at a Channel Seven function at Sydney Cricket Ground on Tuesday.

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