After a devastating day of play at the Mecca of cricket, Indian team would certainly look to make some changes to their side which could help them lift off the ODI trophy in the deciding contest. A victory at lords would have set the tone for a historic whitewash on English soil, a feat rarely achieved by any visiting nation. But, it seems destiny had some other plans for the Men in Blue. Chasing 322, they lost wickets sheepishly against the English bowling unit and lost the vital contest by 86 r. Nevertheless, they are still the favourites for the final battle and a win is all they need to clinch the ODI trophy before the tests commence. Let’s hope that the Indian cricket team predicted XI for the final contest is up for the challenge.
Indian cricket team predicted XI for 3rd ODI, Headingley
Openers- Rohit Shama and Shikhar Dhawan
The Hitman started the series on a high note by notching up his 18th hundred at Trent Bridge, to give a 1-0 advantage to the visitors in the 3 match series. But, as expected, he failed to keep up his good run in the 2nd game at Lord’s, where he got out cheaply for 15 runs.
Still, one can’t deny Rohit’s prowess in the game, considering his ability to play long innings, and prance hard on the opponents when needed.
While Rohit’s performances have been pretty decen in the games played agaisnt England, his partner Shikhar Dhawan, who was supposed to flourish under English conditions hasn’t had a great series till date. With scores of 40 and 36 in the ODI contests at Trent Bridge and Lord’s, one cannot expect Dhawan to be in the playing XI for the games against England during the 5 match tests.
His form has become a bit of a concern for the Indian team, and if doesn’t deliver in the final game, then his exit for the upcoming tours would be on cards very soon.
Middle order – Virat Kohli, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina
Virat Kohli is undoubtedly the most consistent player across all three formats. And his games in the series till date are a clear testament of this statement. Following a 75 and 45 in the 2 games at Trent Bridge and Lord’s, Kohli is expected to bang hard on the Englishmen in the final contest, if India is to win the ODI series.
KL Rahul, who was expected to the shining start of Indian cricket has unfortunately been eclipsed by the English bowling attack in the ongoing series. After his match winning hundred in the 1st T20i, he hasn’t gotten past the 30 run mark in either T20 or ODI format of the game.
Chances are, that if he fails to make a dent in the final game, his position in the tests too would come under scrutiny. It would be better if KL contributes, else he might lose out his place to Dinesh Karthik for the upcoming tours.
Suresh Raina too needs to deliver a jaw breaking performance in the final game to ensure a ticket in the ODI and T20 squads for the upcoming tours. Though he was the leading run scorer for the Indian team( 46 of 63 deliveries) in the 2nd game at Lord’s, he hasn’t been that impactful on the whole.
Even his T20 performances weren’t up to the mark, considering his stature in the 20 over format of the game. Let’s see if he’s able to exhibit his hard hitting abilities in the final game against England.
Wicketkeeper and All rounder- MS Dhoni and Hardik Pandya
Despite being one of the greatest players to have ever played the game, MS Dhoni has been a subject of mockery and criticism in the last couple of years, way more than any cricketer of the present generation.
Perhaps none would have imagined, that a player of his repute, would receive a flurry of boos at the Mecca of cricket, from none other than Indian supporters itself.
Looks like Dhoni would have to contribute by hook, or by crook in the final contest to prevent an axing from the upcoming tours before the World cup commence. Indian cricket team predicted XI without veteran Dhoni on board won’t be a pleasing situation for any cricket following gentlemen.
There is another cricketer in the Indian cricket team who needs a reality check at the moment, else there are chances for his exit too prior to the World Cup games. Hardik Pandya, who was considered to be a potential candidate for the all-around position has been struggling since the start of the tour.
He has been a flop show in the ongoing series, with the final game of T20 series being a lone exception. More than his batting, Hardik’s bowling has been a concern for the team. WIth economies of more than a 7 and 8 in each game regardless of the format being played, he is turning out to be a burden for the Men in Blue.
He would have to emulate his 3rd T20i exemplary performance, in the final game of the ODI series as well, to help India lift off the ODI trophy in the deciding contest.
Spinners- Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal
The duo has been successful in dominating the Englishmen in pacer friendly conditions, and perhaps these two are the only players to have remained consistent throughout the games played to date.
While Chahal dries up the run rate from one end, Kuldeep decimates the England unit from the other end. No one would have expected the Indian spinners to exhibit such a sheer brilliance in their play, that too under English conditions which don’t provide any support whatsoever to the spinners, regardless of their prowess in the game.
Also, both the spinners are inching closer towards the 50 wicket mark in the ODI cricket, which makes the final game all the more special for them. Their presence in the Indian cricket team predicted XI is a security for the coming tours as well.
Pacers- Siddharth Kaul and Umesh Yadav
Bumrah and Bhuvaneshwar’s exit from the scene turned out to be a nightmare for the Indian unit. Umesh Yadav who is perhaps the only seam and swing specialist of the team is finding it hard to get the ball at the right places and was one of the reasons behind Indian unit’s smacking for 322 runs in the 50 overs contest.
Though he started the series with a bang, his performances have witnessed a massive sulk in the past few games. Also, his bowling partner, Siddharth Kaul, who made his debut on this tour, has been failing hard throughout the series by getting smacked across the fences on England players’ will.
Though he’s a debutant, we can only expect him to bowl well in the 3rd game, else his axing would become an easy decision for the BCCI gentlemen.
We cannot do anything, but hope for the Indian cricket team predicted XI to match up to the Audience’s expectation in the final contest. A loss would only make them feel gutted in the eyes of the Indian spectators. And, that is not something anyone would want to witness.