England in a Jeopardy with Ben Stokes

The India-England series is mainly about how the two teams perform in the ODIs and the Test matches.

Cricket news: England to make a hard call between Joe Root and Ben Stokes

The result of the ODIs matter because it will show the current position of the two solid contenders of the 2019 World Cup, which is just 12 months away and will be played on English soil.

The result of Test matches matter because of the various narratives attached to the longest format of the game and also to see how Virat Kohli perform against his 2014 nemesis, the away swinger.

But before the ODI and Test series begin, the T20I series has already given us a view of how competitive the matches will turn out to be.

Kuldeep’s wrist spin and googlies were too much to handle for the English batsmen in Manchester which gave the visitors a cruising start to the tour.

India were wrong-footed because of the odd dimensions of the field at Cardiff which gave the hosts an opportunity to equalise.

It is all down to the wire at Bristol where it is definitely going to be a you-blink-I-hit affair as England has gotten aware of spin and India will have a chance to rectify their mistakes against pace and bounce.

But before the final T20I of the series begins, England has a much bigger problem at hand with their combination. With Alex Hales scoring a half-century, it will be difficult for Ben Stokes to find a place in the team.

Eoin Morgan said in the press conference, “He [Stokes] is obviously a fantastic player, and there will be a difficult decision to make. We’ve made calls like this in the past, but we hope we’ll make it for the betterment of the team – and put out our strongest XI. Alex [Hales] always makes it difficult, particularly in T20 cricket. He’s played a lot for us – he’s one of our highest run-scorers, a very experienced campaigner. An innings like that tonight makes him a pretty strong case for the next game.”

If Stokes is included the management might bench Joe Root. But Paul Farbrace had backed Root’s ability to succeed in this format.

However Root hasn’t made any significant contribution in the one-off fixture against England and in the two matches against India.

Moreover when the England team is going through a tough chase, the management sends Eoin Morgan and Jonny Bairstow up the order, which forces Root to No.6 which is not his usual position.

Venue: County Ground, Bristol

India Probable XI: Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), MS Dhoni (wk), Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav

England Probable XI: Jos Buttler (wk), Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root/Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan (c), Jonny Bairstow, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, David Willey, Chris Jordan, Jake Ball