In the lead-up to the 2019 World Cup, many tipped India and England to be the sides battling it out for the trophy in the final at Lord’s. While we aren’t there yet, the two teams will clash in an all-important group stage encounter with plenty of stakes.
After three defeats at the hands of Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Australia, England are scrapping to remain alive in the competition, while India are the only unbeaten team in the tournament, currently occupying second place. England desperately need a win to stay afloat, while a win for India would see them through to the semi-finals.
As the two prepare to collide at Edgbaston, we explore what a team featuring the best from both sides would look like. As you might have imagined, the result is a world-beating XI, comprising the very best from one-day cricket over the last 12 months.
1. Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma has captivated the 2019 World Cup with his brilliant strokeplay
Just as far back as 2013, Rohit’s international career was hanging in the balance. In the years since, he has become one of the best limited-overs batsmen in world cricket, benefitting from a promotion to the top of India’s order. Rohit today is the No.2-ranked ODI batsman in the world, and oozes class every time he walks on to the field. He can pierce every nook and corner of the field with his range of strokes, and is devastating on both the front and back foot.
CWC19: 338 runs @ 84.50 (CWC: 668 runs @ 60.72)
ODI career: 8348 runs @ 48.25
2. Jason Roy
Jason Roy’s presence has had a direct influence on England’s World Cup campaign
A swashbuckling opening batsman, Roy has been one of the most dangerous ball strikers in the world over the last 12 months, and forms a formidable opening partnership for England with Jonny Bairstow. Roy sets the tempo for the innings with his ability to blaze away from the time he arrives at the crease. His value to the side is highlighted by England’s top-order struggles as they succumbed to defeats against Sri Lanka and Australia in his injury-forced absence. He is, however, expected to make a return against India.
CWC19: 215 runs @71.66
ODI career: 3153 runs @42.04
3. Virat Kohli (c)
Mt. 20k scaled! @imVkohli becomes the quickest batsman to make 20,000 international runs. He is the third Indian after @sachin_rt and Rahul Dravid to achieve this feat.??? #TeamIndia #CWC19 #KingKohli pic.twitter.com/s8mn9sgaap
— BCCI (@BCCI) 27 June 2019
A selection that requires no justification. Simply put, the best all-format batsman in the world today, and one of the best to have ever played the game. Kohli’s game awareness whilst shepherding India’s batting order is unmatched. Armed with a flawless technique, the Indian captain has bolted to 20,000 international runs faster than any man in cricket.
CWC19: 316 runs @ 63.20 (CWC: 903 runs @ 47.52)
ODI career: 11159 runs @ 59.67
4. Joe Root
Joe Root has been England’s Mr. Consistent, holding the innings together with his class and composure
England’s Test captain proves time and again why he is one of the world’s best. He may not possess the extravagant strokes of the likes of Jos Buttler, but he has proved to be more than effective in the middle overs rotating the strike. An expert player of spin, Root can also provide his captain with a few handy overs himself.
CWC19: 432 runs @ 72.00 (CWC: 634 runs @ 57.63)
ODI career: 5732 runs @ 51.63
5. Ben Stokes
Ben Stokes has been an electric presence on the field for England
Stokes has put behind poor batting form in the lead-up to the tournament to become England’s lynchpin in the middle order. An all-rounder in the truest sense of the term, Stokes brings it all on the field, with his snarling in-duckers that have led to the downfall of many a good player, and measured big hitting. Oh, and he can be pretty handy in the field too.
CWC19: 291 runs @ 58.20 & 6 wickets @ 26.66
ODI career: 2508 runs @ 39.18 & 69 wickets @ 41.07
6. Jos Buttler (wk)
Jos Buttler = the new Dhoni
— ESPNcricinfo (@ESPNcricinfo) 24 June 2019
Between the Universe Jos and MS Dhoni to take the gloves, the Englishman gets the nod. Whilst he has struggled a bit with both bat and gloves in the World Cup, he still has some solid numbers behind him. One of the most important cogs in this England line-up, Buttler is an absolute match-winner who can make the world’s best attacks look pedestrian with his innovative strokeplay.
CWC19: 222 runs @ 37.00 (CWC: 363 runs @ 36.30)
ODI career: 3753 runs @ 41.24
7. Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya has grabbed attention with his big hits and use of the short ball in this tournament
The exuberant all-rounder is a key part of Kohli’s side, with his seam bowling and powerful hitting in the middle order. Pandya offers good balance, as a bowler who can chip in with a full quota of ten overs on his day, and as a game-changing batsman, making him the X-factor to a dangerous Indian side.
CWC19: 142 runs @ 35.50 & 5 wickets @ 44.40
ODI career: 873 runs @ 30.10 & 49 wickets @ 40.20
8. Yuzvendra Chahal
Yuzvendra Chahal can be both a wicket-taking and a containing bowler
A paragon of the modern breed of attacking leg-spinners, Chahal is the joint-highest wicket-taker among spinners in this tournament. Much of India’s success in ODIs over the last couple of years has been down to their ability to keep teams bogged down in the middle overs, and Chahal has been a key part of that effort.
CWC19: 10 wickets @ 24.10
ODI career: 82 wickets @ 24.54
9. Adil Rashid
Adil Rashid has been bowling through a troublesome shoulder
Rashid has been England’s star with the ball over the last 12 months and Eoin Morgan’s go-to man. Conditions haven’t been favourable to spinners of Rashid’s kind. He has also been struggling with a shoulder injury, which he aggravated ahead of the India clash, but he is expected to be available and still has a knack for making things happen.
CWC19: 7 wickets @ 51.85
ODI career: 139 wickets @ 31.53
10. Jofra Archer
Bowlers with at least 3 wickets in 4 consecutive matches in a Cricket World Cup:
— Mazher Arshad (@MazherArshad) 21 June 2019
Effortlessly lethal, Archer is a once-in-a-generation bowler. He has rendered questions over his selection in the England side meaningless by picking up 16 wickets, the most by an England bowler so far in the competition.
CWC19: 16 wickets @ 20.31
ODI career: 19 wickets @ 22.78
11. Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah is India’s man for every situation
Three years after bursting onto the international scene, Bumrah is still leaving onlookers scratching their heads as they try to understand how he generates pace. An expert with new and old ball, Bumrah is Kohli’s go-to bowler in any circumstance, and the leader of the Indian attack. He offers pin-point accuracy at the death and a bagful of wickets, making his partnership with Archer in this XI a fearsome one.
CWC19: 9 wickets @ 21.77
ODI career: 94 wickets @ 22.11