Virat Kohli’s team won the three-match T20 series in style in Bristol as they chased down 199 with ease after Rohit Sharma hit his third ton in the format. Eoin Morgan’s England are the top-ranked ODI team in the world and will be a lot more comfortable in a format they have mastered since the 2015 World Cup.
Both teams enter the series with two of the most devastating batting line-ups of contemporary cricket. If England have the likes of Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow, the Indians have Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.
The first match of the series will be played in Nottingham, a venue where England amassed a world-record total of 481-6 against Australia in the recent series they won 5-0. Nottingham is arguably the flattest one-day pitch in the world. It has provided five 400-plus scores in List A cricket and has witnessed the top two totals in ODI cricket – 481-6 and 444-3, both by England.
The Englishmen own three of the 19 totals in excess of 400 in ODIs while India have five. So the chances of a few batting records being broken on Thursday are high. Here we take a look at some of the them.
HIGHEST INNINGS TOTAL
After England came within touching distance of 500 in the match against Australia (481-6) last month, the conversation have moved from if to when the mark will be breached in ODI cricket. Given the batting strength of both teams, there is a chance of the first-ever ODI total of 500. While it was England who have come the closest to the mark, India seem to have a slightly better chance of reaching there on Thursday. India have two wrist spinners in Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav and it’s look highly unlikely that both will go for 10 an over.
HIGHEST MATCH AGGREGATE
The highest match aggregate ever witnessed in an ODI was that manic South Africa-Australia Johannesburg ODI in 2006 when 872 runs were scored with the Proteas chasing down 435. Those two teams had some all-time ODI greats like Adam Gilchrist, Ricky Ponting and Herschelle Gibbs.
The upcoming clash between England and India also includes some of the best hitters of the modern era. If the wicket is similar to the one witnessed last month, there is a good chance fans will get to witness a run-fest for the ages.
HIGHEST INDIVIDUAL SCORE
India batsman Sharma has the highest individual score in ODI cricket – 264 against Sri Lanka in 2014. In fact, he has three double tons in ODIs under his belt. And he scored a ton in the Bristol T20. The highest knock by an English batsman in ODIs is 180 by Jason Roy against the Aussies earlier in the year.
Chances are, any opener who gets going on Thursday has a good chance of really filling his boots. And maybe even go for 265.
India are currently placed second in ODI rankings on 122 points, four behind top-ranked England.
If Virat Kohli’s team win the series 3-0, they will rise to the top spot in 50-over cricket. If England manage to win by the same margin, they will extend their lead at the top to 10 points.
That’s not all. Seven of the 10 teams participating in the 2019 World Cup will be in action from this week until August 12.
Zimbabwe host Pakistan for a five-match series, West Indies will play three Bangladesh at home while the Sri Lankans take on South Africa in five matches.
Pakistan – placed fifth on 102 points – will need to beat Zimbabwe 4-1 to ensure they don’t fall behind Australia who are sixth on 100 points.
It was a series which lived up to its reputation of featuring two of the best white-ball cricket teams in the world at the moment with the pendulum swinging from one side to the other.
With the three-match ODI series getting underway on Thursday, we look at what the T20s have taught us.
INDIA’S PACE OPTIONS DWINDLING
While Virat Kohli’s men might have laid down a marker for the rest of the summer, they did so at a cost. The visitors were dealt a big blow even before the start of the series with Jasprit Bumrah being ruled out due to a broken thumb.
There was further setback when Bhuvneshwar Kumar was ruled out of the decider with a stiff lower back. Bhuvneshwar has been struggling with back issues since the IPL this year and given the fact that he will play a crucial role in the five-match Test series, India are likely to tread very carefully with how they manage his workload in the ODI series.
With Bumrah now being ruled out of the ODI series as well and Shardul Thakur being called up as a replacement, India are low on gas when it comes to their pace battery.
EXPECT MORE FIREWORKS IN THE ODI SERIES
There was little to choose between the two teams in the T20s. Batsmen from both sides impressed in the three matches with Rohit Sharma, Kohli and KL Rahul looking good for India while Jos Buttler and Jason Roy were equally impressive for the hosts.
With Ben Stokes returning to England’s set-up, the hosts will be bolstered for the ODI series where they come in as the No1 ranked team in the format. Memories of their 5-0 whitewash over the Aussies will be fresh where they amassed big scores like they were going out of business.
The 50-over clashes could see runs flow once again and with the first match taking place at Trent Bridge – the venue where England registered their world-record 481-6 against Australia – the tone for the rest of the series could very be set at the start.
KULDEEP REMAINS A ‘MYSTERY’
How England would handle India’s wrist-spinners, especially Kuldeep Yadav, was a big talking point before the start of the T20 series. In the first game, he bamboozled England’s top-order with figures of 5-24 as the likes of Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root struggled to pick his googly.
England showed better application against Kuldeep in the second T20 where they played him off the back foot . That would be the last contribution from Kuldeep in the series with Kohli leaving out the youngster in the decider.
While the reasons for him being dropped remain a mystery, the question of whether England have figured Kuldeep out remains unanswered. In fact, Kohli might have heightened the mystery surrounding the young spinner by keeping him out of the final T20.