It’s been 4 months since Team India last played a One Day International, but guess what has also not been witnessed since November 2020? That’s right: SportsCafe’s very own Funky Predictions. And, unlike England so far this tour, we assure you that our predictions won’t disappoint.
Virat Kohli will score his 71st international century, yes!
I mean, we’ve been fooled by Virat’s ‘form’ many a time over these past 486 days. Since he scored his last international ton, Kohli has played some absolutely REMARKABLE knocks but, well, often they’ve been sandwiched in-between a bunch of poor ones. You know, like what happened in the Test series. He played that ridiculous knock on Day 5 of the first Test, but just when we thought he was baaaackkkkk, he was cleaned up by Moeen for a duck in his very next innings.
But boy he looked like he was back to his old, ruthless self in the T20Is. I mean, who even posts three unbeaten 70+ scores in a T20I bilateral series? You could just sense that the elusive 71st L.O.A.D.I.N.G. (No, I’m not jinxing). If he doesn’t score a ton in the touch he currently is in, then Virat will never score an international ton ever again. Yep, there I said it!
Bhuvi will dismiss Jason Roy for a duck - again
A batsman reliant on hand-eye coordination searching for form vs a gun new ball bowler who can swing the ball both ways. Hmmm, what could possibly go wrong?
Completely u̶n̶related stat: Jason Roy was dismissed for a golden duck in the last ODI he played, by a bowler reliant on swing.
Completely u̶n̶related stat (2): Jason Roy was dismissed for a duck in the fifth T20I by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
I know, this is very peculiar. But I can almost visualize the moment. England are 180/3 ish and Krunal is in the middle of his 8th over. The bowler fires one in at around 98 kph and Stokes, looking to slog the ball over the deep mid-wicket boundary, ends up skying it. Hardik Pandya settles under the ball and takes it cleanly and MI finally have their revenge over RR.
P.S. Note to self: Pretty bold to assume that Krunal Pandya will get a game
One of the three ODIs is going to be a stinker, where the team batting first gets rolled over under 250
You could not possibly look at the bowling lineups of both sides and think they have the bowlers who could skittle batsmen out cheaply, that too on flat decks, but we have seen crazier things happen in this tour. Don’t tell me you foresaw Kohli finishing the T20I series as an opener, Iyer mastering the art of T20 finishing and Rahul Chahar - who was not in the original squad - becoming the team’s #1 spinner.
Lord Thakur will end the series with an ER over 7.50
Now, I made a similar prediction for Navdeep Saini in the Australia tour and I nailed it. As much as I would love to see Thakur endure another beast of a series, I just can’t help but think that he’s due for a stinker. As well as he bowled in the T20Is, Thakur was a bit bipolar - or ‘Aragora’, in K Srikkanth’s words - and there is every chance that the English batsmen might right their wrongs and latch onto him in the ODIs. His career ER is 6.80, by the way, so this is not even a far-fetched call.
‘Angry Dhawan’ will kick-start the series with a fifty
We hear the English media ramble about ‘Angry Jonny Bairstow’, but somehow, back here in India, people just tend to forget just how well Dhawan performs when his place in the side is questioned. Dhawan might not be playing for his place in ODIs - Kohli confirmed this, but erm, if there’s one person in the world I wouldn't trust… - but he almost always turns invincible when people want him to fail. With SKY now in the squad, people are ‘hoping’ for Dhawan to fail so that Rahul can move back up top and open up a slot in the middle-order, but I’m afraid people’s dreams are going to get shattered. Dhawan is scoring a fifty tomorrow and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.
Speaking of Angry Jonny, he is going to end the series with 2 tons in 3 games
Did you know? 3 of Angry Jonny’s last 5 ODI scores read 82, 84 and 112. And yes, the ton came in the last ODI he played, when England were 0/2 (Call him Anti-Roy?). Two tons in 3 games on flat decks is a piece of cake for England’s greatest ODI opener of all time. No, there is irony about this statement.
Other honorable mentions
1) KL Rahul will end the series with a batting average between 40 and 46
2) Eoin Morgan will score a valiant 80 in a losing cause
3) Reece Topley will take a four-wicket haul in one of the first 2 ODIs
4) Mark Wood will castle Shreyas Iyer, who will end up losing his middle-stick after expecting a short ball.