With the last game scheduled for Sunday, the three-match ODI series between India and England is currently tied at one each. India vs England
After suffering a humiliating loss in its last match, the Indian squad is anticipated to change its batting strategy from cautious to more fearless for the series-deciding third ODI against England on Sunday in Manchester.
During the just finished T20 International series, the squad led by Rohit Sharma did put on an extremely aggressive batting display that was largely successful, but the way it pursued a subpar goal of 247 in the second ODI left a lot to be desired.
In response to some excellent swing and seam bowling from Reece Topley and David Willey, Rohit would throw his hand up and admit that he and veteran Shikhar Dhawan were a little bit on the defensive.
The fact that Virat Kohli’s never-ending string of failures has only made matters worse is another major contributing factor, but senior openers playing out two maiden overs at the beginning didn’t provide a great outlook either.
The first game at the Oval, which Jasprit Bumrah’s six-wicket haul single-handedly won, calls for a change in strategy and for that, a paradigm shift in the thinking while attempting the challenging run chases.
“Instead of focusing on their position on the team, I want these individuals to take the game on and see if they can change anything about their own play. Imagine the confidence they will have if they manage to get the squad out of that scenario “After the second game, Rohit had said.
Going all out early on was a great strategy for T20 Internationals, and there is no reason it can’t be applied to the 50-over format, which many sides view as an extension of two T20 innings.
Even England’s star-studded batting lineup appeared completely out of sorts throughout the two matches, and it appeared like the hosts were engaging in an antiquated one-day match with players of the calibre of Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, and Liam Livingstone.
India won’t care as long as these powerful players are kept in check, but the visitors will need to change their game plan. And it will be difficult in an early morning ODI at Old Trafford, where the ball moves noticeably and India will be motivated by their World Cup semifinal loss there.
Rohit’s strategy is generally not a problem, but the Indian team management, lead by head coach Rahul Dravid, will have its own set of problems if they select the 37-year-old Dhawan for the 2023 ODI World Cup.
In addition to Rohit and Kohli, the left-hander has been the most prolific run-scorer, in part because he bats first and in part because two incredibly gifted players in their prime in the previous ten years allowed him to play to his strengths.
However, since Dhawan only plays one format and the number of bilateral ODIs has significantly decreased (most teams play three-match series), he is often forced to take these forced breaks, which undoubtedly affects his rhythm.
If Rohit, Dhawan, and Kohli will continue to be India’s Nos. 1, 2, and 3 moving ahead, considerable consideration needs to be given while the ODI World Cup is still 15 months away.
Regarding Kohli, he might be anticipating a break of longer than a month following this match as he is anticipated to return to the nets and the drawing board to find for a solution to his front-foot pressing issue as well as jabbing and poking at deliveries that are moving out of length.
Although the flaw has been well-documented, the white-ball game now requires a fix.
With a format where time is of the essence, a solution is needed since runs can be scored off specific deliveries like it did at his prime. However, in red ball, a specific shot can be avoided and runs can still be scored.
Jadeja’s ever-changing role
At least four out of the five white-ball games so far have seen India’s bowling assault deliver on expectations.
Mohammed Shami frequently produces those unplayable wicket-taking deliveries now that Bumrah has reached his peak. Yuzvendra Chahal has modified his bowling motion to be a little bit slower and to allow the ball to hang in the air.
The Indian camp is undoubtedly smiling again because to Hardik Pandya’s bowling rhythm and Prasidh Krishna’s ability to generate bounce even from length.
The one concerning factor will be Ravindra Jadeja’s sudden fall as a capable left-arm spinner, which has likely gone unreported and been covered up by the other players’ good performances.
Only time will tell if Jadeja’s transformation into a batting all-rounder can benefit India in sub-continental conditions, where at least two spinners will be required to bowl 20 overs, with the Saurashtra man projected to be one of those two.
England: Jos Buttler (C), Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Brydon Carse, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Craig Overton, Joe Root, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey.
India: Rohit Sharma (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel, Jasprit Bumrah, Prasidh Krishna, Mohd. Shami, Mohd. Siraj, Arshdeep Singh.