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India vs England - An ODI Debut To Suryakumar & Krishna In India's Likely XI For The Series Opener

India should open with the formidable pairing of Rohit Sharma-Shikhar Dhawan and bat KL Rahul at number 5 in the ODI series opener against England in Pune on Tuesday. An ODI debut to Suryakumar Yadav and fast bowler Prasidh Krishna should also spice up the contest.

India vs England - An ODI Debut To Suryakumar & Krishna In India's Likely XI For The Series Opener

India will clash with World Cup winners England in the three-match ODI series starting in Pune from the 23rd of March, Tuesday. With victories in the Test and T20I series, the confidence of the home team will be high but the 50-over format will pose the toughest challenge against the most dominating and successful team in the last few years. Both the teams will use the series to test some new players and try different combinations but would still want to come out triumphant in what would again be a marquee clash between the two top ranked teams in the format.

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India have three top players missing from the series – Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and Ravindra Jadeja – which also gives an opportunity to some of the lesser stars to raise their game and perform to cement a place in the ODI set-up.

We look at India’s most likely XI for the series opener on Tuesday.


This is a no-brainer in the format. Shikhar Dhawan is one of the most prolific openers in ODI cricket history with 5808 runs in 136 innings at an average of 45.02 and strike rate of 93.88 including 17 hundreds. He has been in splendid form since 2018 with an aggregate of 1770 runs in 41 innings at a similar average of 45.38 and strike rate of 96.77 including 5 hundreds and 7 fifties. His form and record in T20I cricket notwithstanding, Dhawan will be a different beast at the top of the order for India in 50-over cricket!


Shreyas Iyer had a fine start to his ODI career and has recorded 807 runs in 19 innings at an average close to 45 and strike rate of around 100. He has 9 fifty-plus scores for India and has been consistently performing in the format. However, Iyer had an indifferent series against Australia where he registered scores of 2, 38 and 19.

India has already seen a good amount of Iyer in ODI cricket and may just want to give the in-form Suryakumar Yadav a debut in the format. Yadav made the most of his first two outings for India with the bat in T20I cricket and had a good run (like Iyer) in the Vijay Hazare Trophy this season.


KL Rahul is through a rough patch in T20I cricket and the 50-over format, where he gets time to settle in before exploding may just be the platform he needs to get back to scoring big runs for the country. Rahul has a terrific record in ODI cricket with 1332 runs in 34 innings at an average of almost 46 and strike rate of 88 including 4 hundreds and 8 fifties.

Rahul has been recently pushed to number 5 from where he has produced a brilliant hundred against New Zealand at Mount Maunganui. He has been in devastating form since 2019 with an aggregate of 1015 runs in 22 innings at an average of 50.75 and strike rate of 90.46 with three hundreds and six fifties in this time-frame.

India will hope a change in position will change the fortunes of their star batsman.


Rishabh Pant is yet to do justice to his prodigious talent in ODI cricket and would look to correct that in the series. Hardik Pandya was in breathtaking form in Australia where he blasted 90 off 76 deliveries at the SCG before smashing an unbeaten 92 off just 76 deliveries at Canberra – the two highest scores of his career both from number 6.

India will keep the batting positions flexible. They may want to try out Pant at number 4 which would mean Hardik can bat at his usual number 6.


India may hand a debut in the series opener to the fast bowler from Karnataka – Prasidh Krishna. Krishna has an impressive List-A record with 81 wickets in 48 matches at an average of 23.07 and strike rate of 26.7. He bagged 14 wickets in 7 matches for Karnataka in the Vijay Hazare Trophy this season and brings with him that extra pace and the ability to extract bounce from the wicket.

Mohammed Siraj may be preferred over Shardul Thakur as he brings with him a little more pace and control to the attack. Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who was brilliantly restrictive in the T20I series against England would spearhead the pace attack. He had a fine year in 2019 in which he returned with 33 wickets in 19 matches at an average of 23.75 and economy rate of just 5.23.

Yuzvendra Chahal has a problem with his rising economy rate but remains one of India’s biggest match-winners in the middle overs in 50-over cricket and his form in the T20I series notwithstanding, the leg spinner will be a different bowler in this format.

So, this is the likely XI for India for the ODI series opener against England on Tuesday.

1 Rohit Sharma

2 Shikhar Dhawan

3 Virat Kohli

4 Suryakumar Yadav

5 KL Rahul

6 Hardik Pandya

7 Rishabh Pant

8 Prasidh Krishna

9 Mohammed Siraj

10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar

11 Yuzvendra Chahal

In case India go in with the extra all-rounder in Washington Sundar, then Suryakumar Yadav, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant will compete with each other for the remaining two spots in the middle order.

Team Rankings

1 New Zealand 3198 118
2 Australia 3028 116
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 South Africa 2499 96
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1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
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1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
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