The top two teams in ODI cricket will begin the series at Trent Bridge as a tuning-up exercise for the next World Cup. This will also be India’s chance to prove why they are a better all-condition outfit than England despite the latter having a better win-loss record over the last three years.
Surprisingly, there has been no trace of rain in the tour so far and it is expected to remain the same for the first ODI as well. It is the middle of a dry summer in England and the temperature at Trent Bride continues to stay in the early twenties.
Shikhar Dhawan: 4, 10, and 5. These are the scores of Shikhar Dhawan since India landed in England for the T20I series. However, he will be presented an opportunity to prove that is an aberration in the country where he has an insane average of 71.33 from 14 matches. The change in the format may well act as a motivation for “Gabbar” to find his niche and where better than the belter of a pitch at Trent Bridge.
Rohit Sharma: The ground that has seen batting records tumble over the last few years will have had Rohit licking his lips to go out there and play
Virat Kohli: After dropping himself down to the No. 4 slot in the T20Is, Kohli may opt to bat at his usual position of No. 3 for the ODIs. Although his record in England in Tests is abysmal, he is a monster when it comes to ODI cricket and can take the challenge head on to make England his oyster. Another Virat special is on cards? I won’t put my money against it.
KL Rahul: The Karnataka opener showed in Manchester what he can do if he got the support of the team management and although he might be fancying his chances to bat at No. 3, it is unlikely that he would get that in ODIs. However, the selection committee had openly said during India's tour of Sri Lanka last year that Rahul
MS Dhoni: The former Indian skipper is just 33 runs away from completing 10,000 ODI runs and will become the 12th batsman and fourth Indian to enter the elite club. But a good score to start the series can help him in re-establishing his dominance as a batsman and the team management will certainly hope for that.
Dinesh Karthik: While Suresh Raina got a chance ahead of him in the shortest version of the game, DK is in pole position to get the nod in the ODIs thanks to his experience in English conditions and the ability to counter the short balls with ease. It's the middle of a long, dry summer in England and Karthik is more accustomed to it because of several trips to the country with the Indian team in the past. And also the fact that Raina hasn't played an ODI since 2015 will count for little in the UP batsman’s favour.
Hardik Pandya: While India
Kuldeep Yadav: While Kuldeep picked up a five-for at Old Trafford, he ended up not featuring in the team at all in the last T20I as India won 2-1. But, as was proved in the first match, he can be the most lethal bowler of the lot when given a chance and everyone will be keeping a close look at him in the ODI series.
Yuzvendra Chahal: Chahal has a very good understanding of the batsman's intentions - a skill he has honed over years of bowling on flat IPL decks at the Chinnaswamy. His understanding of when to fire it flat at middle and leg and when to dangle it slower and wider makes him an important member
Siddarth Kaul: As per reports, Bhuvneshwar Kumar indulged in light jogging on the eve of the first ODI, but didn’t hit the nets. On the other hand, Siddarth Kaul was under the full scrutiny of bowling coach Bharat Arun and spent a lot of time taking feedback, which may indicate to the fact that he will get the nod ahead of Shardul Thakur, who picked up eight wickets in the recently-concluded India A tri-series in England.
Umesh Yadav: While he can be a big wicket-taking asset, Umesh Yadav is largely a unidimensional bowler and is not good at his craft when the ball is old. However, his raw pace and the ability to take the new ball away from the right-handed batsmen makes him a powerful prospect in the powerplay overs, which Virat Kohli will strongly want him to deliver.