Two blockbuster teams will lock horns in Pune as England look to finish the tour off in style by winning the three-match ODI series against India. The Indian team is super solid in their own backyard but they are up against the current 50-over world champions. There are exceptional players from both sides who would want to headline this series but players like Shikhar Dhawan and Ben Stokes will have added motivation to prove their critics wrong.
In this piece, we’d look at the five players who can swing this series in their team’s favour.
SHIKHAR DHAWAN (India)
Time is running out for Shikhar Dhawan. After just the first T20I against England, he found himself out of contention for the opening spot in the T20I team. Furthermore, with Virat Kohli saying he wants to open in T20 cricket, it looks like the door has been closed on Gabbar’s future in that format. But ODIs is where Shikhar Dhawan is at his best. He has been a great servant for Indian cricket in the past decade and has always performed well in ICC tournaments. Shikhar would know that young players like Prithvi Shaw, Devdutt Padikkal and Shubman Gill are all waiting in the wings for that opportunity and Dhawan needs to make this series count.
ADIL RASHID (England)
Adil Rashid is one of the most underrated white-ball spinners going around in the cricket world currently. How he doesn’t have an Indian T20 League contract is beyond understanding. He was a key reason why England have been so successful in the 50-over format in the past few years. He has the ability to pick wickets in the middle phase of the innings where it becomes sometimes impossible to break partnerships under the current regulations. His battle with the Indian captain Virat Kohli will be one to watch out for. He got the better of Kohli twice in the T20I series and would love to continue his dominance over the Indian batter.
KRUNAL PANDYA (India)
With Ravindra Jadeja out injured for this series, the stage is set for Krunal Pandya to showcase his talent in the international circuit. He has always been a consistent performer in the domestic tournaments but his performance in the recently concluded Vijay Hazare Trophy earned him his maiden call-up to the 50-over team. He averaged 129.33 with the bat with a strike rate of 117.93 which included two hundreds for his state team Baroda. With the ball, he was economical as ever and picked up five wickets as well. Expect him to start as the premier all-rounder for the Indian team in this series.
PRASIDH KRISHNA (India)
Another player who has been toiling hard in the domestic circuit for a long time has been Karnataka’s pacer Prasidh Krishna. The lanky fast bowler was another player who got picked for his stellar performances in the Vijay Hazare Trophy. He finished the tournament with 14 wickets in his side’s run to the semi-final. He was impressive throughout the tournament with his best coming against Bihar, 4/17. He may not start the series as the first choice pacer but expect him to get his debut in one of the matches given the form he is in currently.
BEN STOKES (England)
A lot has been said about Ben Stokes’ role in England’s T20I side and how he hasn’t performed up to his high standards in the format. The all-rounder would like to keep that criticism behind him and come into this series as the match-winner he is in the 50-over format. Interestingly he hasn’t played in ODIs since the World Cup final in 2019. This series will mark a mini-comeback of sorts for Stokes.
VISIT OUR BLOG TO GET YOUR FIX FOR ALL OF THE MOST CURRENT CRICKET NEWS STORIES & FEATURES