England and India begin their five-match ODI series in Bristol on Monday. The only thing that will prevent them from getting things off to a ferocious start is the weather.
Venue: County Ground, Bristol
Commences: Monday, Aug. 25
Start time: 10:30 a.m. BST
Live on: Sky Sports (UK), STAR Sports (India), Fox Sports (Australia), SuperSport (South Africa), PTV Sports (Pakistan), Ten Sports (Sri Lanka), Orbit Showtime Network (Middle East).
Weather: AccuWeather.com does not have good news for cricket fans. It is forecasting heavy rain for the whole of Monday and, at this stage, the chance of getting a full game, or any game at all, is looking rather slim.
After a woeful Test series, India have the chance to save some face as the teams switch gears and head for the one-day matches. The weather at this stage does not look good, but that doesn’t mean there aren’t a few important things to note. Like the Test side, England’s one-day team is still rebuilding and they will have the added challenge of being without Stuart Broad. The pace ace will miss the series due to a knee injury so one of the rookie bowlers will have to take on the senior role.
England have had mixed results in their last few ODI outings, losing the series against Sri Lanka after having beaten the West Indies just a few months earlier. India, meanwhile, have just beaten Bangladesh in Bangladesh with a second-string team but lost to both New Zealand and South Africa away from home in recent months.
All these results make for an interesting narrative. Both teams have something to prove and both teams have individual challenges. India’s challenge is arguably bigger than England’s. After the disaster of the Test series, they have appointed Ravi Shastri as director of cricket and they desperately need to prove to their disenchanted fans that they are not as limp as their results suggest.
India have played three one-day games here and have won all three, but those all happened years ago, with the most recent outing having been in 2007. England last played at the venue back in 2010 and lost to Bangladesh. In the unlikely event that the weather stays away, it should be a good match with a few landmarks awaiting a number of England’s players. Alastair Cook needs 33 more runs to make it 3,000 ODI runs, while Joe Root needs just 32 to reach the 1,000 ODI-run landmark.
Jos Buttler is England's second-highest run-scorer in one-dayers over the last 12 months. He's notched up 637 runs at an average of 49.00 in that time period. Fresh off a successful Test debut, he will be full of confidence and a key in the middle order.
Virat Kohli has had a woeful Test series, but he remains one of the most prodigiously talented one-day players in the world and proving himself in tough English conditions will only enhance his reputation. He's scored 1,059 runs at an average of 66.18 in the last 12 months and if he can just click once again, he will be immense.
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Ambati Rayudu, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohit Sharma, Umesh Yadav, Mohammed Shami, Dhawal Kulkarni, Sanju Samson, Stuart Binny, Karn Sharma
Alastair Cook(c), Alex Hales, Ian Bell, Gary Ballance, Joe Root, Jos Buttler(w), Moeen Ali, Chris Jordan, James Anderson, James Tredwell, Harry Gurney, Steven Finn, Eoin Morgan, Chris Woakes, Ben Stokes
All stats via ESPNCricinfo, unless otherwise stated.