It’s that time in Indian cricket when each player dons the blue jersey with an eye over his spot in India’s squad for the World Cup 2019 which is scheduled to take place in England. With a new season in prospect, Team India embarks upon a journey that sees them going through some tough overseas tours in their lead up to the next World Cup.
To begin with, they face-off against Ireland in a two-match T20 series that begins on June 27, and then India will play England for a crisp limited overs series of three T20Is and three ODIs before the Test series.
Despite of their dream run in the past two years, England will be wary of the tough challenge that Virat Kohli’s men can pose even in the conditions that are alien to them.
However, it promises to be a cracker of a series with both the sides evenly balanced. If English will look to exploit their home conditions, India has their trump cards in Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav, who can be effective even on pitches that don’t have much to offer for the bowlers.
We take a look at some of those players who can be a headache for Team India in White ball cricket:
#1 Jonny Bairstow
The English Test Wicket-keeper batsmen have re-invented himself completely in the past couple of years for the shorter versions of the game.
He has brought a revelation in his style of batting and the way he approaches the game in the white-ball cricket. An ODI career that began in 2011 against India had seen him on the sidelines much due to his inconsistent run and Buttler’s stupendous form that ruled him out of the side.
But it was when Roy went through a lean patch that saw the 28-year old make his way into the side purely as a batsman.
It was an opportunity that he grabbed with both hands to make inroads in his career in the limited overs format. Bairstow cemented his place as an opener and was instrumental to impress the selectors as he mustered runs at will.
His recent form is as good an indicative to judge his stature grow as a batsman considering the Yorkshire man has scored all his centuries in past one year.
If England is to continue their dominant run, it will be important for Bairstow to provide his side with brisk starts at the top of the order.
#2 Jason Roy
The English opener has earned himself a reputation of an attacking batsman who loves to take on the bowler early on in the innings.
He has had some remarkable partnerships with his partners in crime Alex Hales and now Bairstow, who acts as a perfect foil for Roy at the other end.
The flamboyant Surrey batsmen have done wonders for his side at the top of the order ever since his T20I debut against India in 2014.
Roy, being a natural stroke maker was a valuable addition to the English squad much after their horrendous outing in the ICC World Cup in 2015 which saw them face an early exit in the Quarter-Finals against Bangladesh.
Later, the 27-year old was picked as a first-choice opener in England’s surge to the title in the Champions Trophy in 2017.
But it was his dismal run in the coveted tournament that saw him make way for Jonny Bairstow in the side.
Now when he has earned his spot back as an opener, he would love to make it count in a highly anticipated series against the men in blue at home.
#3 Jos Buttler
The explosive English wicket-keeper batsmen, who have his own ways when it comes to batting in the shorter versions of the game, has played a key role in England’s dream run that has spanned over a period of two years now.
His ability to take on any bowler and hit sixes for fun sees him as a vital cog in England’s limited overs set-up. Buttler has been clinical in providing the much-needed flourish at the end of the innings to allow his side post mammoth totals in no time.
His quick fiery innings with a lot more consistency have helped him quietly earn himself a name of a finisher.
Buttler, who was always seen as an option only the in limited overs, has also brought versatility to his game to even get a go in the longest format. His ability to change the course of the game in a session makes him attempting choice to feature in Test cricket.
With a high-octane series lined up against the Indians, the hard-hitting batsmen will hope to carry on his sublime form to give his side a real impetus as a finisher.
#4 Eoin Morgan
England’s limited overs skipper is an experienced campaigner with more than 200 caps in ODI cricket and nearly 75 appearances in the shortest version of the game.
Morgan first burst onto the scene was in Irish colours in 2006 as a free-flowing middle-order batsman.
It was later in 2009 when he was named in England squad for T20 World Cup 2009 when he had to end his ties with Ireland cricket.
The Southpaw has been a regular in the English ODI setup as he went onto be at the helm at England cricket for the shorter versions of the game.
Under his leadership, England cricket has gone from strength to strength after an upset in the World Cup in 2015. He has held the side together with his leadership skills which are ably supported by his ability to bat as per the team’s requirements.
Going forward, it will be essential from hosts’ point of view that Morgan keeps on producing those timely innings with his bat to help in his confidence to lead the side against a tough Indian challenge that awaits them.
#5 David Willey
The left-arm medium fast bowler, who made his ODI debut against Ireland in 2015, has seen his career go on for a topsy-turvy ride with some of his inconsistent run of play.
A short-spanned career has already gone through various ups and down with injuries being the major concern for the fast bowler which sees him out of the contention. Although David Willey when on the song is a treat to watch as any other left-arm bowler.
In the upcoming series, he can be a dangerous weapon considering the concerns on Indian batsmen against the left-arm bowlers in the past. He is the strike bowler for the hosts who possesses the ability to swing the new ball.
He can be a potent option against the likes of Rohit Sharma, Kohli, who often seem to be in trouble against the ball tailing in late. The 28-year old is in a great rhythm and would love to exploit the friendly conditions against an Indian side that bats too deep.’