With Virat Kohli's reign as India's full-time captain starting on Sunday in the first ODI against England, we take a look at the potential starting XI for the match at Pune. Keeping the Champions Trophy in mind, we have gone with the selection of 6 batsmen, 2 all-rounders and 4 bowlers.
After a successful limited-overs series against New Zealand back in October, India will look to continue their domination at home in the three-match ODI series against England on Sunday at the MCA stadium, Pune. New captain Virat Kohli's tactics might be more aggressive compared to MS Dhoni's, but the combinations both the captains have used in the previous home series against New Zealand have been similar. With Dhoni and Yuvraj playing in an ODI after three years, we can also expect few changes in the batting order.
KL Rahul: The 24-year old lost out on a chance to play the ODI series against New Zealand due to a hamstring injury. Fortunately for India, he has recovered in time to be fit for the ODI series against England with Rohit Sharma out due to a knee surgery. The Karnataka batsman has already scored two centuries in the last series against Zimbabwe and we hope that he shakes off his recent poor form in the Test series with this match.
Ajinkya Rahane: Rahane's versatility of batting in different positions and the absence of Rohit Sharma due to injury might make him the go-to opener against England. With head coach Anil Kumble also stating that the Mumbai batsman will bat up the order, we predict that Rahane will open the innings alongside Rahul ahead of Shikhar Dhawan.
Virat Kohli: Captain of the side and the backbone of the team's batting lineup, Virat Kohli has been in imperious form by finishing top-scorer across all format in 2016. However, his strategies and field placements as the team's new skipper will be more in focus given his batting is a no-brainer.
MS Dhoni: The pressure of forcing himself to come down the order and finishing the games will no longer bother the former skipper as we expect him to be promoted up the order and play more aggressively. With Yuvraj Singh back in the side, it would be exciting to see them both
Manish Pandey: Despite the youngster failing to impress in the series against New Zealand, the management might be hoping to present him with yet another chance. With Ajinkya Rahane believed to open the innings, there is no better alternative than Pandey to fill a position in the middle-order.
Yuvraj Singh: Making his comeback into the ODI side on the back of a solid Ranji season with Punjab, the talented southpaw will most likely play in the first ODI at Pune after scoring a half-century in the practice match for India A. However, Yuvraj seems to be suffering from weaknesses against short balls of late, and we will have wait to see if he is truly back to his best.
Hardik Pandya: A shoulder injury prevented the 23-year old from playing his first Test series against England, but hopes will be high on Pandya since he is the best fast-bowling all-rounder available ahead of the Champions Trophy. It will be interesting to see how Virat Kohli utilizes him.
Ravichandran Ashwin: The off-spinner was rightly rested for the previous limited-overs series against New Zealand, but has been picked for this series with the Champions Trophy in the mind. It will be interesting to see if Ashwin will be able to carry his Test form into the ODIs since he had suffered from Sports Hernia in the past few weeks.
Amit Mishra: Amit Mishra has led an inexperienced spin department excellently against New Zealand while also bagging 15 wickets in five matches, giving him an edge over Ravindra Jadeja. It will also be better for Virat Kohli to keep one of his main spinners ready for the Champions Trophy.
Umesh Yadav: Injury to Mohammed Shami will lay the onus of leading the bowling attack on Yadav which he has managed to do well in the previous series against Kiwis. Despite going for some runs in the past few home series, the 29-year old still remains a great asset for the team alongside young Jasprit Bumrah.
Jasprit Bumrah: The Gujarat pacer has assured everyone that he has all that takes to become a great limited-overs bowler with his superb bowling performances during the last year. His accuracy and pace will be vital for India during the death overs.
India or West Indies? Who will win?
WI hold a 60-53 H2H advantage over IND historically but in last 10 completed games between them , IND have won 7. IND has also won all last 5 games at this venue.