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India vs England 2020-21: India eyes clean sweep across formats with ODIs glory

India and England are coming off a terrific outing in the just-concluded five-game Twenty20 International series, with the former winning 3-2. The focus would now shift to the three One-Day Internationals, as the ODI top spot is up for grab, currently held by England.

India vs England 2020-21: India eyes clean sweep across formats with ODIs glory-ayh
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Pune, First Published Mar 22, 2021, 3:06 PM IST
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After a gruelling five-game Twenty20 International series, the focus has now shifted to the One-Day Internationals. It would be a three-game series, as India would look to make an across format clean sweep, while England would aim to prove why it is the reigning world champion.

The top spot in the ICC ODI Rankings is up for grab by India, which England currently holds. Thus, we present the series preview with a lot to play for and what we could expect in the next three games.

Squad composition
India has more or less a balanced side, with a tide batting-heavy one. With bowling being its strength, it makes sense to have extra batsmen handy. While the likes of Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma headline its batting, as for the bowling, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Yuzvendra Chahal would come in extremely handy.

For England, it is a batting-heavy side. Notably, with its top-order being unstable, the visitor would love to have extra options in hand to stabilise the department. Its bowling has eight men compared to ten batsmen, but it is a strong one. While Eoin Morgan and Jason Roy dominate among batsmen, Adil Rashid and Mark Wood can come handy as bowlers, along with fierce all-rounder Ben Stokes.

Strengths and weaknesses
As said above, Team India's strength relies on its bowling. The likes of pacer Bhuvneshwar, along with Shardul Thakur and T Natarajan, would be the ones to headline the department. Among spinners, the management would heavily rely on Yuzvendra Chahal.

While batting is not exactly India's weakness, it is not as strong as its bowling currently. The onus would be upon Kohli, Rohit and Shikhar Dhawan to give India the right start. Also, it would be interesting to see how wicketkeeper-batsmen KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant fair, along with all-rounder Hardik Pandya.

For England, it's a tricky situation, as both its departments are equally strong. However, its unstable batting order is a sign of worry. The top-order needs Jason Roy and Jos Buttler to fire, while Jonny Bairstow, Morgan, Stokes and Moeen Ali need to consolidate in the middle. As for its bowling, Wood would have a task at hand, along with the all-rounder Curran brothers, while Moeen and Rashid will have to churn things out with their spin.

ALSO READ: Ranking the Indian performers across departments in T20Is

Players to watch out
Kohli: The Indian skipper has been without an international century for more than a year. While he bounced back to form in the T20Is, it would be imperative for him to carry the same momentum into the ODIs.
Chahal: The limited-overs specialist spinner will have to prove himself again that he is India'sprime spinner in the circuit. While T20Is did not exactly go according to his plan, he would look to overwrite it in the ODIs.
Roy: The explosive English opener bounced back to form during the T20Is and desperately needs to fire in the ODIs to give England the right start, along with the win.
Moeen: The all-rounder was decent in the Test series, despite having played just a Test. He would be looking to make it even better in the ODIs across departments, besides proving his doubters wrong, especially for the Indian Premier League franchise for ignoring him during the auction.

A milestone in the reckoning
The only milestone in hindsight is that of Chahal, who needs eight more wickets in the series to enter the 100-wicket club in the format. He would become the 23rd Indian to do so.

Squad
India: Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), KL Rahul (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna and Shardul Thakur.
England: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow (wk), Sam Billings (wk), Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Livingstone, Matt Parkinson, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, Mark Wood.

ODI schedule
March 23:
1st ODI (Pune)
March 26: 2nd ODI (Pune)
March 28: 3rd ODI (Pune)

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