After some grueling Tests and hard-fought T20Is, the action between India and England now shifts to the final leg of the series. It is time for the 50-over format where the match-up against certain players becomes all-so crucial. With so many quality players on both sides, there will be few battles to watch out for in the upcoming 3-match ODI series in Pune.
1. Adil Rashid vs Virat Kohli
This is certainly going to be one of the most exciting match-ups to look forward to. Virat Kohli has had a tough time against the leg-spinners in the recent times, with Adam Zampa, Ish Sodhi and Adil Rashid troubling him. While Kohli was dismissed only twice in the recently concluded T20I series, it was Rashid who dismissed him on both the occasion. The Indian skipper played Rashid very cautiously in the final T20I contest and it will be very interesting to see how he approaches him in the ODIs.
2. Yuzvendra Chahal vs Jos Buttler
After an exciting face-off in the T20Is, the two star players will be up against each other once again in the ODI series. While Chahal got the better of Buttler in the first T20I with his googly, the England batsman launched an assault against him the next 2 matches. Buttler attacked Chahal right from the beginning, especially in the 3rd T20I and looked fairly comfortable against him. His counter-attack was one of the reasons Chahal was dropped for the last 2 T20Is. The Indian spinner would be itching to return the favour when he faces Jos once again in the ODIs.
3. Mark Wood vs Rohit Sharma
Mark Wood completely bamboozled Hitman in the 3rd T20I. The England pacer troubled Rohit with his pace and bounce and had the upper hand. However, the explosive Rohit turned up in the final T20I where he smashed Wood to all parts of the ground. It was an epic battle between two extremely talented cricketers, with with raw pace and the other with raw power. With both these players up against each other once again in Pune, it will be really interesting to see who comes out on top this time around.
4. Bhuvneshwar Kumar vs Jason Roy
Bhuvneshwar is undoubtedly one of the best swing bowlers in the world right now. Jason Roy has had a few issue against swinging deliveries in past and the Indian pacer was quick to attack Roy on his weakness. Bhuvi consistently troubled Roy with the new ball but Roy did strike a few smashing shots off him after the ball got slightly old. In the final T20I, Bhuvneshwar finally got the better of Roy with a peach of an inswing delivery, castling the stumps. It will be an intriguing battle as both players meet each other for another face-off.
5. Hardik Pandya vs Ben Stokes
Pandya and Stokes are undoubtedly two of the best all-rounders in world cricket right now. Both the players had a decent T20I series as they showed glimpses of class with bat and ball. While it was a fairly even face-off between both of them in T20Is, the ODI series will provide them an opportunity to go against each other with both bat and ball more often. It is going to be another exciting battle as two star players clash against each other to prove who is the better all-rounder among them.
These are going to be some mouth-watering clashes as two top ODI sides lock horns against each other in Pune. The action begins with the series opener scheduled to take place on Tuesday, March 23.