England and India, who are ranked No. 1 and 2 respectively in ICC ODI rankings, will kick-off a high profile three-match One-Day International (ODI) series at Nottingham on Thursday. It will be an ideal opportunity for India, who had conceded the top ranking to England at the annual update on 2 May, to regain the top spot, but for that, they will have to win 3-0. England on the other hand will run up a lead of 10 points at the top of the table if they win by the same margin.
Last time India played a bilateral ODI series in England, they ended up winning it with a 4-1 margin. However, this time upstaging Eoin Morgan's boys will be a much stiffer task. Remember, in their last ODI series, the English team beat Australia 5-0. But we can expect against Virat Kohli's troops, it will be a different ball game altogether for the home team.
Both teams are batting heavy. There is plenty of firepower in both the line-ups. However, in the bowling department, India have two quality wrist-spinners — Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav. Though towards the end of the recently concluded T20I series, the English batsmen seemed to have found the way to tackle the duo, but in the 50-over format, the job won't be as simple as it was then.
The pitches are expected to be flat batting tracks. Both captains would like to chase down targets here, as they did during the T20I series.
For India, these three games will be more like a dress rehearsal for next years' World Cup. It is expected that the team think-tank will try out youngsters like Shreyas Iyer, Siddarth Kaul and others.