Toss India chose to bowl vs England

Rohit Sharma chose to bowl in the first ODI at The Kia Oval, as England welcomed back their Test-match big guns of Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow, just as India prepared to make do without their own grandest name. Virat Kohli will sit out this match after sustaining a mild groin strain, with Shreyas Iyer handed the chance to impress at No.3.

With the UK currently experiencing a sustained heat wave, another run-laden contest is anticipated in the first 50-over meeting between these two teams in the country since their epic tussle at Edgbaston in the 2019 World Cup.

“Virat Kohli has a slight niggle,” Rohit confirmed at the toss. “There is obviously some grass cover, and slightly overcast. We want to have a score in front of us. [Mohammed] Shami, [Jasprit] Bumrah can swing the ball up front, we know how important it is to take wickets up front, and put the brakes on the scoring rate.”

For England, it’s the first time they have had their band back together since their crowning moment in the 2019 World Cup final. Eoin Morgan has retired, of course, but the power unit of their batting – Jason Roy, Bairstow, Root, Stokes and Jos Buttler – are reunited in the same XI for the first time in two days’ shy of three years.

“It’s great to welcome those guys back in,” Buttler said of Root, Stokes and Bairstow – the three central figures in England’s thrilling four-match winning streak in this summer’s Tests against New Zealand and India. “They’ve been in fantastic form in the Test matches, and they are not only the best players in our team, but some of the best in the world.”

Buttler enters the match on a slight dip in his recent run of white-ball form, after struggling in particular against Bhuvneshwar Kumar with the new ball in last week’s T20Is. However, from a team perspective, he oversaw his first victory as official England captain in the third match at Trent Bridge on Sunday, and while he would have liked to chase as well, he was comfortable with setting the agenda with the bat.

“We would have looked to bowl first, but I expect it to be a really good wicket throughout the game,” he said. “I’ve been learning a lot about myself and the role, and I’m looking forward to the ODI series. There’s a lot of selfless guys willing to bat at any opportunity, and the same with the ball.”

In Kohli’s absence, all eyes may once again be on Suryakumar Yadav in India’s middle order, following his startling 48-ball century in a losing cause at Trent Bridge.

England: 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jonny Bairstow, 3 Joe Root, 4 Ben Stokes, 5 Jos Buttler (capt & wk), 6 Liam Livingstone, 7 Moeen Ali, 8 Craig Overton, 9 David Willey, 10 Brydon Carse, 11 Reece Topley

India: 1 Rohit Sharma (capt), 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Shreyas Iyer, 4 Suryakumar Yadav, 5 Rishabh Pant (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 Mohammed Shami, 9 Jasprit Bumrah, 10 Yuzvendra Chahal, 11 Prasidh Krishna

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket