England have outright won 21 of their last 30 ODIs at home and the defending World Cup champions are one of the most dangerous sides in the format right now.
Beating England in England in the format they have stamped their authority over in the last few years is no easy task and to counter their flat tracks, dynamic batters and pocket-sized boundaries, we’ve put together a ‘rest of the world’ XI that could cause England trouble.
*Stats in all ODIs from start of 2016
Matches – 84, Runs – 4638, Average – 63.53, SR – 95.25, 100s – 21, 50s – 16
ODI cricket has been a breeze for Rohit Sharma, especially when it comes to knocking off hundreds – three of which he has converted to double tons in his career – and his claim to one opening spot in this XI is irrefutable. Rohit dominated in England in the last ODI World Cup, finishing as the leading run-scorer in the tournament.
Quinton de Kock (wk)
Matches – 71, Runs – 3242, Average – 48.38, SR – 98.45, 100s – 7, 50s – 21, Catches – 91, Stumpings – 6
The South African has a terrific record against England – an average of 65.27 with three hundreds – and while his batting credentials are sufficient enough to bring him into this XI, he also remains one of the better wicketkeepers going.
Virat Kohli (c)
Matches – 88, Runs – 5338, Average – 75.18, SR – 98.32, 100s – 20, 50s – 28
First name on the sheet, first name on any ODI XI – Virat Kohli’s record in ODI cricket is scarcely believable. In the present, even amidst the century drought – not since 2019 has he reached the landmark – he is on, Kohli’s place in this XI is under no threat.
Matches – 73, Runs – 3578, Average – 58.65, SR – 88.67, 100s – 13, 50s – 14
The world needs more of Babar Azam lacing his cover drives, and on the flat English wickets, Babar provides a nice cushion behind two ODI behemoths. Contrary to the criticism around his T20I game, Babar’s ODI numbers are quite elite. This aside, he is the second-highest ODI run-getter among tourists in England since the start of 2016.
Matches – 38, Runs – 1509, Average – 48.67, SR – 89.28, 100s – 5, 50s – 9
His intent in T20s is under heavy scrutiny, but his re-invention in ODIs as a middle-order batsman has served India well (a strike-rate of 113.81 and an average of 56.62 from No.5). Rahul edges Mushfiqur Rahim to this slot, primarily because the anchor-heavy top-order needs a dynamic batting belly.
Matches – 61, Runs – 1695, Average – 33.9, SR – 124.5, 100s – 1, Wickets – 9
Maxwell had a dream run in England in Australia’s bilateral series in the country last year. While his ODI numbers are far from compelling – and pale in comparison to Ross Taylor and Faf du Plessis – this side needs a hard-hitting middle-order batsman capable of swinging matches on his own, and Maxwell adds that much-needed flair. His part-time off-spin could also be handy, particularly against skipper Eoin Morgan, who he has dismissed five times in international cricket.
Matches – 47, Runs – 607, SR – 95.89, Wickets – 44, Economy – 5.09 , Best – 4/29
Ravindra Jadeja’s bowling average is above 50 in ODIs since the start of 2016, yet he squeezes into this XI on the basis of two key factors. Firstly, his metamorphosis as one of the world’s leading finishers in limited-overs cricket is a skill this team sorely needs. Secondly, Rashid’s presence makes the skill requirement of the second spinner a tad different: preferably more economical than wicket-taking. Jadeja ticks these boxes and also has a massive bonus given his electric fielding.
Matches – 50, Wickets – 94, Bowl average – 26.52, Economy – 5.43, Best – 5-26
The searing yorker to Ben Stokes in the 2019 World Cup could alone put Mitchell Starc in this XI, but he’s done a lot aside from that, including striking every 29 balls on an average in ODIs since the start of 2016. A genuine threat to England’s top-order with the new ball, Starc’s death bowling credentials will be put to test on England’s flat wickets and small grounds.
Shaheen Shah Afridi
Matches – 25, Wickets – 51, Bowl average – 22.90, Economy – 5.47, Best – 6-35
Shaheen edges out Trent Boult on account of a marginally better bowling strike rate. A world-class new ball pair is what’s needed to stifle England’s approach in the powerplay overs and Shaheen adds that sting to the attack alongside Starc. The duo are easily among the best new-ball bowlers in limited-overs cricket in the last few years.
Matches – 70, Wickets – 135, Bowl average – 18.25, Economy – 4.21, Best – 7-18
This line-up needs Rashid Khan and his googlies to keep England quiet. While that didn’t go down to plan in the 2019 World Cup game against a powerful Morgan, Rashid is still the best white-ball spinner in the world currently and walks into this XI.
Matches – 67, Wickets – 108, Bowl average – 25.33, Economy – 4.65, Best – 5-27
A death-bowling combination of Jasprit Bumrah and Mitchell Starc is as outlandish as dreams get. Death overs signal happy hour for England’s batsmen at home, but probably a little bit less so with Starc and Bumrah to man the crucial overs. Bumrah’s ODI numbers – especially his economy rate that’s still under five – are mind-blowing and this XI will bank on him to counter the Buttler threat.
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