ENG vs IND, 1st T20I, Preview: Will the high-riding visitors be able to stop England’s juggernaut?
The wrist-spinners of the visitors are likely to pose the threat to the rampant hosts.
Updated - Jul 2, 2018 10:17 pm
The much-awaited tussle between India and England is all set to commence on Tuesday as they will face in the first of the three T20 Internationals. The Old Trafford in Manchester will host the encounter as the superstars in the shortest format of the game will stack in front of each other. The hosts are in excellent form in the limited overs format but they will know that India are no pushovers and they will be tested to the hilt in this series.
Last time these two teams met in T20Is, the Men in Blue had got the better of a similar side but it was in their own backyard. England will be keen to turn things this time around and no wonder they have emerged as one of the best sides since then. Eoin Morgan has been the happy captain to possess such a talented team with him and must be confident of continuing with their good run at home.
Virat Kohli’s men literally thumped Ireland in the two matches and they couldn’t have started the tour in a better way. The confidence is sky-high in the change room as most of the cricketers are coming on the back of a brilliant IPL season. They would be itching to start the long tour with a victory and set the benchmark for the matches to come in the next few days.
The selectors have picked the same squad for Australia and India T20Is. Given the strength of the opposition England is likely to field an unchanged side for this game. Jos Buttler should continue opening the innings along with Jason Roy and Alex Hales to follow at number 3. Morgan has already cleared that the positions of middle-order are flexible which means Joe Root might not even get to bat unless the top order gets rattled.
On the bowling front, David Willey and Liam Plunkett might share the new ball with Chris Jordan to take up the responsibility of the death overs. All the eyes will be on Adil Rashid who troubled the Aussies recently but the Indians are known to be the best players of spin-bowling which will test his skills. Moeen Ali is the all-rounder in the team who has managed to play his role perfectly so far this summer.
Probable XI: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler (wk), Alex Hales, Eoin Morgan (c), Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, David Willey, Liam Plunkett, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid
India is having a happy selection headache and surely the preferred options should come back for the first match at least. The experiment of moving Rohit Sharma in the middle-order didn’t work and he will return at the top along with Shikhar Dhawan. Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli will follow as KL Rahul must have done enough to retain his place albeit at number 5 as Manish Pandey will make way. Dinesh Karthik will also feel hard done with MS Dhoni returning to the set-up.
Jasprit Bumrah is ruled out of the T20 leg of the tour which opens the door for either Umesh Yadav or Siddarth Kaul. One of them will accompany Bhuvneshwar Kumar with the new ball and at the death as well. However, England will have to wary of the wrist spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, who have been picking wickets for fun in the last few matches.
Probable XI: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Suresh Raina, Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul/Dinesh Karthik, MS Dhoni (wk), Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav
Focus will be on
Jos Buttler (England)
Jos Buttler has found his groove ever since the Rajasthan Royals decided to give him a go at the top of the order with the bat. England continued with the same thought process which has yielded similar results now and his knock against Australia must have left India thinking about how to stop him. If Buttler manages to get his team off to a flier, the other batsmen would relish the opportunity to pile on the runs.
Kuldeep Yadav (India)
Kuldeep Yadav was absolutely unplayable against Ireland and will be tested in front of some of the amazing hitters of the cricket ball. Kohli has been banking on the variety of the bowling attack India possesses and the chinaman is expected to spin a web around the home side. A lot will depend on how Kuldeep will bowl in this series as he is able to extract turn off the flat pitch as well.
2000 – Virat Kohli (1992) and Rohit Sharma (1949) race towards becoming the first set of cricketers to score 2000 runs in Men’s T20I cricket for India.
5000 – Jos Buttler (4966) and Alex Hales (4901) need 34 and 99 more runs respectively to complete 500 T20 runs.