India vs England 2016: Probable Indian ODI Squad
With the Indian team grappling with injuries, the selectors are in a real corner as far as squad selection is concerned.
The Indian Cricket had a golden year in 2016, but as the team is bracing for their next challenge, which is the limited overs fixture against England, the selectors are in a real muddle, owing to the long list of injuries to the regular players.
The limited overs squad is slated to be announced in the first week of January, and the MSK Prasad-led selection panel is now looking for options from around the circuit.
There have been inspired and consistent performances by players in the ongoing Ranji Trophy season, and it would be interesting to see if the selectors take into consideration these players.
Here, we don the selector’s hat and try to pick up a squad of 15 players which could eventually make the cut, come the first week of January.
The Karnataka-boy was the find of the previous season and his coming of age as an opening batsman across all three formats was the biggest positive for the Indian team. With Rohit Sharma injured, Rahul could walk into the playing XI, and with form on his side, he could be a real asset at the top of the order.
The left-hander was dropped for the New Zealand series, and he did not have a very sparkling season with Delhi. However, he could be back in the fold, as the selectors would ideally want to have experience at the top of the order against the English seam bowling attack. Also, with Dhawan at the top, they could well look ahead at the Champions Trophy which would take place in England.
Another young promising Karnataka player, Karun made the world sit up and take notice of his potential with his serene 300 in the final Test match. Thus, the selectors would be tempted to give him a go at the top of the order in the limited-overs fixture as well. He bats at the top of the order for Delhi Daredevils and has shown immense promise against the new white ball. At a time when his confidence is sky-high, the management would ideally want to make the most use of his patch.
This name needs no discussion and debates. Kohli is the first name to be jotted on the ODI team, and after having a sterling 2016, the right-hander would love to start 2017 with a bang at his most coveted position.
Some relief for the selectors as a fit and raring Kohli is a match-winner any day in any format, more so against the white ball.
The captain would walk in at number 4, and after having a relatively fruitful series against New Zealand at this position, Dhoni would love to make it his own for the upcoming Champions Trophy.
Also, the captain would know that this would be his last chance in the 50-overs format before he leads India in the Champions Trophy and would love to make a strong decisive statement.
After his brilliant 104 in Sydney, Manish Pandey has not quite gone on to establish his credentials in limited overs. However, the selectors have belief in his ability and would thus give him another go at number 5.
This is his chance of finally grabbing this opportunity, and with several players knocking at the doors, this rope might not be that long.
Few eyebrows were raised when Suresh Raina was handed a recall against New Zealand, but could not get a game in owing to an injury. However, his experience and potential is no secret and thus he could be back in blues.
Also, with the Champions Trophy to be held in England, his form and presence in the squad would be a massive boost to MS Dhoni. He averages 37.5 with a strike rate of 113.6 in England, which is a testament to his prowess.
The diminutive Maharashtra man was a shining light in India’s 3-2 victory against New Zealand both with the bat and then surprisingly with the ball. He prized out many crucial wickets at critical moments of the match and gave MS Dhoni a luxury of a handy part-time bowler.
With the bat too, he displayed amazing calmness later down the order and adjusted brilliantly with the tail. He did everything which was asked of him, and merits another go against England.
Lower Order/ Spin Contingent
The young chinaman is certainly a unique product the selectors should not ignore for long. His ability to turn the ball both ways can become quite problematic for the English batsmen.
He is no fool with the bat either, and scored a brilliant 117 against Baroda, and should be a like for like replacement for Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel.
With many of the regular spinners either injured or rested, this is the ideal time to groom this young exciting prospect.
The lanky Jharkhand bowler could be the surprise pick in the squad, but this selection would by no means would be a shout in oblivion.
He has picked 50 wickets or more in 2 successive Ranji seasons and has almost forced the selectors to sit up and take notice of his prowess. The man himself has said that he is ready to take the next step, and with his left-arm variety could be a real handful for the England batting unit, which is filed with stroke-makers.
Amit Mishra’s Test spot could be under the scanner, but there is little doubt that he would be leading the spin attack to come the limited overs version.
He was brilliant against New Zealand, and with the restrictions and field placements of limited overs, he becomes quite a handful, more so against the tentative English batsmen.
The right arm swing bowler makes the cut, primarily because of the injury to Mohammad Shami. With his control with the new white ball, Bhuvi could account for a few England top order batsmen.
Also, he has made massive strides when it comes down to bowling in the death overs and hence has become a perfect article in the Limited Overs version.
If KL Rahul was the pick of the batsmen in 2016, young Jasprit Bumrah was probably the best fast bowler. With his immaculate line and sharp pace, Bumrah has quickly established himself as a go-to bowler for MS Dhoni in crunch situations.
His best is reserved with the older ball when he dishes out yorkers almost at will and makes it difficult for the batsmen to go on a rampage.
The Mumbai-boy has been in around the Indian cricket for a long time, and with injuries to many frontline bowlers, he could get another go in the squad.
However, Kulkarni would know that this could be his last opportunity and thus should look to make it count. With his ability to swing the ball up front, he could be a real handful in England.
Probably the biggest surprise would be the inclusion of Ashish Nehra. The veteran has been sidelined from One Day Internationals since the 2011 World Cup, but now the selectors could rope him in considering his impact he had in the World T20.
Nehra who has now attained fitness, and is training under his childhood coach Tarak Sinha. He is also set to be a part the two warm-up matches against England, scheduled to be held early next year.