Opinion: India prepares for 2019 World Cup with an eye on ODI series against England
A file photo Photograph: (Zee News Network)
England may have crashed out of the FIFA World Cup tournament but they still have a lot to achieve in cricket as the English side will begin a three-match series against India at Trent Bridge on Thursday.
The top two teams in ODI cricket will apply all permutations and combinations, taking it as a vital tuning-up exercise ahead of next summer's cricket World Cup in England.
England, being the No1, have won ten of their last 12 bilateral series while India have won their last nine.
In the last meeting between the two sides, in India in early 2017, the home side emerged victorious 2-1 with the series decided by the English bowlers' inability to restrict India's batsmen.
However, skipper Eoin Morgan's team posses unrecognisable attitude, in personnel, approach and style. Chris Woakes' absence though will be a big loss given his role with the new ball and at the death.
The ground factor has always played a crucial role and here also spin will be a key factor for both teams as the pitches for the three games at Trent Bridge, Lord's and Headingley will be drier than normal, a report said.
Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali routed Australia during England's 5-0 victory last month, but should find things harder against India's batting line, supported by Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, who bowled a brilliant spell during India's T20I series victory, last week.
The 'Men In blue' will be eyeing to continue with the winning momentum. Both Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul slammed a ton each in the T20I series, however, Kohli missed his half-centuries by whiskers in two of the three games played.
MS Dhoni's presence is also an add-on to the team's muscle power. His experience at these grounds and an eye for the game will certainly overpower the side, provided he do some wonders with the bat too.
Meanwhile, for England, Bairstow will look to go for the kill from the beginning as he specialises in taking advantage of the early fielding restrictions.
So overall, the series has a lot to offer, especially for India, keeping the ICC World Cup 2019 in mind.
(Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are the personal views of the author and do not reflect the views of ZMCL)