Thursday, Jun 01, 2023 | Last Update : 08:53 AM IST

  Sports   Cricket  15 Jan 2017  New era begins for Men in Blue

New era begins for Men in Blue

Published : Jan 15, 2017, 2:46 am IST
Updated : Jan 15, 2017, 6:27 am IST

Kohli’s India take on strong Morgan’s England in first ODI.

K.L. Rahul at a training session. (Photo: AFP)
 K.L. Rahul at a training session. (Photo: AFP)

Pune: Young Virat Kohli will usher in a new era in Indian cricket when he leads the side on Sunday in the ODI series-opener against England in place of iconic Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who recently relinquished the captaincy in the limited over formats.

These are big boots to fill for Kohli, who will seek to carry forward the superb run in the home Test series into the limited over format.

Dhoni will be playing under Kohli for the first time as a pure wicket-keeper batsman and it would be interesting to see how the new arrangement works for India. Dhoni has always appeared cool as captain while Kohli does not mind being vocal and showing emotions on the field.

The three matches against the England are the only ODIs available for India to fine-tune themselves before defending their Champions Trophy title in England in June.

On the plus side for India is the return of Shikhar Dhawan and Ajinkya Rahane, who made half-centuries for India A in the warm-up game in Mumbai against the tourists.

Back to the side to beef up the bowling attack are spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, who combined forces to decimate England 4-0 in the Test series that ended in December. They were both rested for the preceding ODI series against New Zealand that India narrowly won 3-2.

India will miss their top limited-over star Rohit Sharma who is still out of action after undergoing surgery and have recalled Yuvraj Singh, after four years.

Yuvraj will be playing for India after ten months, his last appearance being in the World T20 championship in which the Dhoni-led team lost the semifinals to the West Indies.

England boast strong arsenal
In contrast, England have done better in ODIs although they have not won a series in India since 1984-85. Captain Eoin Morgan has led the team impressively although his own form has not been really encouraging of late.

As they showed in the first warm-up game, openers Jason Ray and Alex Hales can be a dangerous combination at the top even as the tourists also bat deep down which is a worry for the hosts.

In fact such is the availability of batting riches that Sam Billings – despite an impressive innings of 93 in the second warm-up – may not get to play with the presence of top batsman Joe Root who arrived late in India owing to personal reasons and did not play the two warm-ups in Mumbai.

The tourists go into the series on the back of a 11-5 win-loss record in 2016, including a fine run of only two losses in their last 12 ODIs.

Tags: virat kohli, mahendra singh dhoni, shikhar dhawan, ravichandran ashwin