India look to seal ODI series against England, complete a 'hat-trick'
Pune, March 25, 2021
India will look to seal the three-match series against England in the second One-Day International at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium on Friday.
The Virat Kohli-led side won the first ODI by 66 runs. The victory was scripted largely by the performances of youngsters, pace bowler M. Prasidh Krishna and all-rounder Krunal Pandya, both debutants.
India will miss middle-order batsman Shreyas Iyer who dislocated his left shoulder during the first ODI and it will be interesting to see who India play in his place. Suryakumar Yadav can replace him.
India's strength has been their pace bowlers' ability to use change of pace to make things difficult for the English batsmen.
England pace bowlers, on the other hand, are a bit one-dimensional as they have not been able to master, or use, the change in pace. And to add to their woes, their strike bowler Jofra Archer is out of the ODI series due to injury.
England have also not been able to conjure up the form that won them the 2019 World Cup. They have lost four of the last five matches they have played, including the previous game.
The visitors' middle-order batting has struggled throughout the six shorter format matches in India. Even in the first ODI, while the openers provided a blistering start, raising 135 in just over 14 overs, the middle and lower-order came unstuck against India's tight and inspired bowling.
India, on the other hand, came into this series after two successive ODI series losses in New Zealand early last year and in Australia, in late last year. Playing in familiar conditions has been a change and has helped them. They look like a well-oiled machine.
If India win this game, it will be a hat-trick of wins across the three formats against England in the ongoing tour.
India had beaten England in the Test series 3-1 and won the T20 International series 3-2.
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wicket-keeper), KL Rahul (wicket-keeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur
England: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jonathan Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Liam Livingstone, Matt Parkinson, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, Mark Wood