News: India played a total of 13 Twenty20 Internationals as preparation for the ICC World T20 2016 at home, where it qualified for the semi-final. A similarly pragmatic approach would have meant India played more One-Day Internationals than just three in the recently concluded series against England, which it won 2-1, building up to its defence of the ICC Champions Trophy 2017.
The series could be a primer for India’s bench strength beyond the ICC Champions Trophy 2017. “We’ve got in quite a few youngsters now who we want to groom with the senior guys in the team,” Kohli said. “Eventually, the idea is to groom them enough to give them confidence from here on and then maybe push them to the ODIs and then give more confidence and then from thereon have that gradual progress draft for them to get them to the highest level which is Test cricket.
“We definitely want to play more expressive cricket, play more positively than in the past and not worry about the result much,” he said. “In this format, you need to go out there and show your true potential. Just how explosive we can be, like we do in the IPL. Somewhere in the international stage, there is a bit of hesitation, that extra bit of pressure that comes with playing for the country. This format allows you to get rid of that and really express yourself and the skills you have to the best of your potential.”
Morgan also confirmed that Joe Root, who was rested for the third ODI because of a niggle, was available for selection.
The last time Root batted in the shortest format in India was in the ICC World T20 2016, where he took England to the final with 249 runs in six matches at a strike-rate of 146.47. England dominated the entire tournament till the last over from Ben Stokes to Carlos Brathwaite in the final at Eden Gardens.
Stokes laid the Eden demons to rest in the final ODI, but England would like nothing more than a series win.
India: KL Rahul, Mandeep Singh, Virat Kohli (capt), Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (wk), Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ashish Nehra, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant (wk), Parveez Rasool, Amit Mishra.
England: Sam Billings, Jason Roy, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan (capt), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Jos Buttler (wk), Jonny Bairstow, Jake Ball, Chris Jordan, Liam Dawson, Liam Plunkett, Tymal Mills, Adil Rashid, David Willey.