World Cup warm-up games: Opportunity for Indian bowlers to test themselves vs England

The Indian team management will look to keep the cards close and assess defending champions England’s batting depth when the home side line up for their first World Cup warm-up match in Guwahati on Saturday. The warm-up matches do not have an official status. Both teams can use as many players as they want and see how some of the players react in specific match situations. But no team wants to go full throttle and reveal all their players or strategies during these games.

But with England’s cross-format philosophy undergoing a sea change over the last few years and a batting line-up consisting of Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Harry Brook, Liam Livingstone and Moeen Ali, who sends shivers down the spine of any opposition, the home team’s bowlers will get a chance to test themselves.

It will be a good opportunity for Kuldeep Yadav, Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja to test themselves and all the bowlers are expected to take turns to bowl a few overs.

In the same way, one can experience a top player like skipper Buttler or the talisman Stokes cooling their heels to not give the Indian bowlers a chance to test them.

The best thing about England’s team is its batting depth. Sam Curran at No.8 and Chris Woakes hammering India to a Test hundred at Lord’s entry at No.9 certainly speaks volumes for the balance of the team.

Kishan vs Iyer debate

In an ideal world, there should be no debate as to whether Shreyas Iyer, a good spin bowler in the middle-overs in an ODI innings, should go into the playing XI, especially with his enviable record in the format.

But since Iyer’s injury break and Ishan Kishan coming into his element, the calculations are a bit different.

Kishan has proven himself at every position in every opportunity given to him by the team. Being a left-hander and the way he goes after the bowling, Kishan makes a compelling case for selection as Rahul Dravid and Rohit Sharma decide to field the XI for the opening match against Australia in Chennai.

If India go in with Shubman Gill, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul and Hardik Pandya, there is not a single left-hander between numbers one and six and that is only when Ravindra Jadeja goes in at No.7, there is some variation in the lineup.

With Rahul earmarked to keep wickets and bat at No.5 on multiple days unless Hardik Pandya is used as a floater, Kishan’s only competition would be Iyer, who recently showed his class with a century against Australia in Indore.

It is only imperative that both Kishan and Iyer get a proper hit out there in the middle.

Iyer looks favorite to start against Australia but Kishan cannot be ruled out yet.

India Squad:Rohit Sharma (c), Hardik Pandya (vc), Shubman Gill, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Ravindra Jadeja, Shardul Thakur, Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Siraj, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yad .

England squad:Jos Buttler (c), Moeen Ali, Gus Atkinson, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Curran, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Joe Root, Harry Brook, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, David Willey, Mark Wood, Chris Woakes.

(This story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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