India vs England: Virat Kohli and Co have clear edge in ODIs; visitors’ bowling their big bane


Mumbai, “We can’t really look back on the Test series and take it into this one-day series with us. The Test series did not go well for us and we have a chance to come out here and perform well, like we know,” said England all-rounder Ben Stokes ahead of the three-match ODI series against India starting from Sunday (15 January). “We have done well in the last two years against really good teams. We know it is going to be tough. We are full of excitement, full of confidence. We are looking forward to it,” Stokes added.

Stokes is known to be a combative individual and a real competitor, and it’s no wonder that he would be upbeat at the start of the series, but the moot question is: do England have it in them to put it past the Indians in the ODI series? Haven’t England’s shortcomings been exposed enough in the hiding that they received in the Test series?

Granted there have been a few additions to the England side – the Eoin Morgans and Jason Roys have come in and one feels England would be able to make do with their resources within the limits of limited-overs cricket.So for instance, they wouldn’t have to endure the ‘torture’ of facing Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja for overs on end as in the Tests; bowling out the opposition isn’t imperative, restricting them would do, and advantage can be taken of field restrictions. What England have, however, are a host of batsmen in Stokes, Jos Buttler, Billings, Hales and Roy, who can score their runs at a fast clip. So one imagines England would be a more competitive side in the shorter formats of the game than in Tests, in the same way as perhaps New Zealand and West Indies are.