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Sharma sees England ODI series as ‘crucial’ pointer to India’s World Cup hopes

India are currently second in the ODI rankings behind England.

India vice-captain Rohit Sharma insists their one-day international tour will be crucial to their World Cup preparations.

The tourists face England the first of a three-match ODI series at Trent Bridge on Thursday having won the T20 campaign 2-1.

England are number one in the ODI rankings, with India second, and hit a record 481 for six in Nottingham in their victory against Australia last month.

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India’s Rohit Sharma sees the bigger picture (Mike Egerton/PA).

England and Wales host the World Cup next year allowing India to hone their skills in this country.

Sharma said: “It is very important, since the World Cup is going to be played in this part of the world.

“In terms of preparation it’s very important, in terms of our combinations and what our targets are going to be .

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Jos Buttler has helped England to the top of the one-day international rankings (Mark Kerton/PA).

“We have seen England against Australia and they were really high scoring games, it’s gong to be crucial to see where we are as a team.

“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 whitewashed Australia 5-0 last month and their record score at Trent Bridge last month has left expectations of another big knock. But Sharma insists India will remain calm even if they need to chase down a mammoth target.

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India’s Rohit Sharma says his team will not be worried by chasing big targets (Nigel French/PA).

He said: “This team likes chasing down targets. Whatever we do we don’t go out and bat like we have to score 400 runs. We bat normally and see where you are at 30 overs and analyse it.

“We noticed the last series played here it was high scoring games and this is where they scored 481 runs.

“I’m expecting nothing else than a high-scoring series. It’s always nice to see the score in front of you and see how you can bat.”

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