1st ODI: India win toss, opt to bowl against England
India captain Virat Kohli (C) leads his players out onto the field. Photograph: (AFP)
Fresh from their Twenty20 International (T20I) series win, India opted to bowl against England in the 1st ODI of the three-match series on Thursday.
The Men in Blue defeated the English side 2-1 to clinch the trophy in the shortest format.
Talking after the toss, Kohli said, " We are gonna bowl first now. It looks like a hard pitch and doesn't seem like changing much and it looks similar to Manchester. We have chased well so far in the T20Is and with our batting line up, it is a good toss to win. Our strengths are different (to Australia's). We are going to focus on our strengths."
"The two wrist spinners bowling 20 overs in the middle overs are going to play a massive role. We back ourselves to bowl first and let the opposition put a score on the board. Plus knowing that our batting is settled and strong, that forces the opposition to go harder than they should, " he added.
"We will just continue with the patterns that we have followed and back our strengths. I don't think any team are focusing on the rankings at the moment. I am sure England will look to try out new players as well. Look for players who have the character to play in tough situations. We will look to test our bench strength. In India, England gave us a tough time. They are an explosive side and we expect them to come hard at us, " the skipper concluded.
Talking about their strategy for today, England skipper Eoin Morgan, said," We would have liked to chase. The last two times when we have played here we have lost the toss but would try to do exactly the same. The wicket though still looks good."
"Great opportunity to post a good total. Unfortunate, Alex has done his side. How long he is out we don't know. He is going for a scan this afternoon which brings Dawid Malan into the squad. With that change Joe Root goes up to 3 and Stokes at 5 which means we are where we were last summer around this time."
"Ben coming in has given us an extra option with the ball and it looks a balanced side. Joe is hungry for runs. The standards that Joe has set for himself are so high. Although by his standards he has had a quiet period. But his contributions to the team has been excellent but I am sure he will turn a corner and we will see the Joe that we know," he added.
The visitors will look to continue their winning momentum on the foreign soil, while England, on the other hand, are optimistic with the return of Ben Stokes in their squad.
England (Playing XI): Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler(w), Moeen Ali, David Willey, Liam Plunkett, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood
India (Playing XI): Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli(c), Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(w), Hardik Pandya, Siddarth Kaul, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav