The former Indian international captain will be leading the men in blue for possibly the last time in the first warm-up game.
All eyes will be on Mahendra Singh Dhoni when England play India A in the first warm-up match at Mumbai before the three-match ODI series. The former Indian international captain will be leading the men in blue for possibly the last time. He hasn’t played a match since the ODI series against New Zealand that concluded in October and the warm-up game will provide the much-needed match practice ahead of the ODI and T20 series against England.
Selectors have picked a strong side featuring experienced campaigners like Yuvraj Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Aashish Nehra and Shikhar Dhawan alongside MS Dhoni. With just three more ODIs left before the Champions Trophy, India is struggling to find the perfect ODI combination and a sudden change in captaincy have made things more interesting.
Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya will look to prove their fitness while Yuvraj will look to carry his domestic form at the highest level. The Punjab veteran scored 672 runs in just five first-class matches including a double ton and a century.
On the other hand, England’s confidence will be boosted by the arrival of their limited overs’ specialists Alex Hales, Jason Roy and Eoin Morgan. The visitors were outplayed in the Test matches but it has transformed into a much stronger limited overs side in last 18-20 months under Morgan and cannot be taken lightly.
However, Morgan himself would be under immense pressure after a mediocre year with the bat where he averaged just 29.81 from just 15 matches in 2016. Even though he had a terrific time leading the side, his stocks went down when he refused to tour Bangladesh due to security reasons. The England captain did land in India on a happy note after hitting a last ball six to guide his team Sydney Thunders home in the Big Bash League.
Youngsters like Sanju Samson, Siddharth Kaul and Kuldeep Yadav will also have a chance to put a case for themselves. The second warm-up game will be played on Thursday (January 12) where Ajinkya Rahane will lead India.
India A: Shikhar Dhawan, Mandeep Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (Captain), Hardik Pandya, Sanju Samson, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ashish Nehra, Mohit Sharma, Siddarth Kaul
England: Alex Hales, Sam Billings, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (Captain), Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, David Willey, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Jake Ball, Liam Dawson, Jason Roy