Indian skipper Virat Kohli on Monday (March 22) confirmed that Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma will be their opening pair for the first ODI against England on Tuesday (March 23) at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune.

“As far as the opening combination is concerned, Shikhar (Dhawan) and Rohit (Sharma) will definitely start. They have been amazing for us in the past few years,” he said during the pre-match conference.

Notably, 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 the remaining two games which India won.

With the management having plenty of options in (Shubman Gill) and outside (Prithvi Shaw and Devdutt Padikkal) the squad for the opening slot, it will be a litmus test for ‘Gabbar’ to prove himself in the lung-opener.

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 come Tuesday.

Meanwhile, 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.

IND vs ENG 1st ODI, Dream 11 team prediction

IND vs ENG 1st ODI, Dream 11 Captain: Virat Kohli

IND vs ENG 1ST ODI, Dream 11 Vice-captain: Eoin Morgan

IND vs ENG 1ST ODI, Dream 11 Wicket keeper: Jos Buttler, Rishabh Pant

IND vs ENG 1ST ODI, Dream 11 Batsmen: Rohit Sharma, Dawid Malan 

IND vs ENG 1ST ODI, Dream 11 All-rounders: Hardik Pandya, Ben Stokes

IND vs ENG 1ST ODI, Dream 11 Bowlers: Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, Adil Rashid

Predicted Playing XIs


Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul (WK), Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal and T Natarajan


Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone, Eoin Morgan (C), Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler (WK), Moeen Ali/Sam Billings, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood and Reece Topley/Tom Curran

Squads (From)


Virat Kohli (C), Rohit Sharma, Shubman Gill, Suryakumar Yadav, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Washington Sundar, Rishabh Pant, KL Rahul, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, T Natarajan, Mohd Siraj, Prasidh Krishna, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal


Eoin Morgan (C), Liam Livingstone, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid, Sam Curran, Matt Parkinson, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, and Reece Topley.

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