The three-match one-day international series against England is important keeping in mind the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 to be played in that part of the world, Rohit Sharma has said.
“In terms of preparation it’s very important, in terms of our combinations and what our targets are going to be," said Sharma, the India batsman, ahead of the first ODI on Thursday, 12 July.
"In the last year or so, we have played some good cricket, in and out of India. This tour brings another challenge for us."
England recently thrashed Australia in a five-match ODI series 5-0. The series had them posting the highest total in men's ODIs: 481/6.
Game Day!— BCCI (@BCCI) July 12, 2018
🏏 England v India 1st ODI
📅 Thursday 12 July
⏰ 5 PM IST
📍Trent Bridge, Nottingham pic.twitter.com/EH3bA3XA6O
Sharma expected more of the same big-hitting when they take on the hosts. “We noticed the last series played here, it was high-scoring games and this is where [England] scored 481 runs," he said. "I’m expecting nothing but a high-scoring series. It’s always nice to see the score in front of you and see how you can bat.”
Joe Root, the England batsman, was excited about their next challenge. “It’s an exciting time. Hopefully we can play some really strong cricket and I’m sure it will make for some really good viewing.
“I think it is an important series. We have played some really strong cricket in the one-day format and India are right up there as one of the best one-day sides in the world.
"They present different challenges to the ones we have recently faced but we know that if we play to our potential and keep learning and improving, we will be a difficult side to play, especially at home in these conditions.”
Since 2017, England have won four of their five ODI series, against the Windies, New Zealand and Australia, and the lost the lone ODI to Scotland last month.
The hosts have been impressive in the 50-over format and Root added that his side are looking forward to winning the series rather than posting another record.
“I think it is dangerous to start thinking too far ahead. One thing that generally we have been good at the last couple of years is assessing things early on and planning an innings from there. It might be the case, it might not, but we try and win this series and do everything we can to come out of an impressive white-ball summer.”