After the hammering at the hands of Virat Kohli’s men, England return to face India for three ODIs and three T20Is to complete their tour of the subcontinent.
But even the ‘Men in Blue’ know that the away side donning the same colour is a different group than the one they had encountered for the past two months. England have an aggressive limited overs squad, a talented and experienced group that have done well since their World Cup debacle in Australia, winning five out of their last seven ODI series since June 2015.
So among the current crop, we believe that England’s chances rests on the shoulders of the performances of these five players.
1) Alex Hales
The message coming out of the English camp is that there will be no repercussions for Alex Hales and Eoin Morgan regarding their decision to withdraw from the ODI series against Bangladesh. So it is likely that the Middlesex born batsman will be taking the opening spot with Jason Roy or Sam Billings. The 28 year-old has not played a competitive game since September last year, but did score an incredible 171 against Pakistan in the second ODI the same month. A beneficiary of the new adopted aggressive approach by English cricket, Hales will be a huge factor for Morgan’s side in the six games to be played in the coming three weeks.
2) Adil Rashid
Despite the result in the Test series, Adil Rashid had a fairly decent outing if you look into his numbers. 23 wickets in five Tests is a decent number for a spinner, especially considering that the final two matches were lost by an innings. He did well in Bangladesh in the three ODI series, picking up 10 wickets, so his form in the shorter format is good. Unlike Alastair Cook, Eoin Morgan prefers using the leg spinner as an attacking option, which could help the 28 year-old have a better impact on the game and quite possibly end the tour on a high.
3) David Willey
David Willey has emerged as England’s leading seamer since making his debut in May 2015. Though he went wicketless in the previous series against Bangladesh, the left-arm seamer has picked up seven wickets from five games for the Perth Scorchers in the ongoing Big Bash League. Having done well in the T20 World Cup conducted last year, the 26 year-old will be confident of performing well in India and will be keen to make an impact against the formidable Indian batting line-up.
4) Eoin Morgan
The England captain returns to the ODI side after withdrawing from the series against Bangladesh citing security concerns. He may be underprepared as far as the conditions are concerned, but has been in terrific form in the ongoing Big Bash League. He left the Sydney Thunder outfit to join the national side with a fantastic parting gift, smashing a last-ball six to win the game against the Melbourne Stars. But this time, he will be facing a tougher and more vibrant outfit, who are coming off a massive series win against his nation’s Test side. And a good performance against the previous Champions Trophy winners will put his side amongst the favourites for the 2017 edition, which will be played at home.
5) Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler is as destructive as a batsman can get, especially in limited overs cricket. He has the ability the rip apart the opposition in the final stages of the innings, easily turn a 250-run score into 350 or chase down a massive target. Though his scores in the recently concluded Test series are not flattering, he is a very different player when it comes to white-ball cricket. With an average of 57.30 in ODIs and 67.00 in T20Is in the previous year, it is fair to say that Buttler is in good form heading into the series.