India eye profitable begin in ODI sequence towards England

Pune: Struggling opener Shikhar Dhawan will be the focus in the Indian team when it takes on world champions England in a three-match ODI series starting here tomorrow. The series is particularly important for the 35-year-old Dhawan, who failed to make an impact in the first T20 in Ahmedabad before warming the benches.

With the management having plenty of options, it will be a litmus test for Dhawan to prove himself in the opening game.

He is expected to open the innings along with seasoned campaigner Rohit Sharma, who was in blistering form in the T20 series.

The ODI format gives Dhawan the time he needs to build his innings. With loads of experience under his belt, the Delhi batsman could well return to form.

For the Indian team, the series would be an extension of its preparations for the T20 World Cup later this year. The 50-over-format, in general, remains low priority in 2021 with no major tournaments around the corner.

Skipper Virat Kohli was back among the runs in the T20 series against England and he would look to carry the momentum into the ODIs. Kohli has not scored a hundred in ODIs since August 2019. PTI

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