IND v ENG, 2nd T20I, Preview: Resurgent England aims series victory, Rishabh Pant likely to make debut
by Arya Author
Published - Jan 28, 2017 4:00 pm | Updated - Jan 29, 2017 6:41 pm
After a horrendous few months, England has finally something to cheer about as they began their T20I campaign in India on a winning note. On the back of a good performance by the bowlers and gritty knocks by captain Eoin Morgan and Joe Root, the visitors romped home by 7 wickets and with 11 balls to spare in the 1st encounter at Kanpur. Winning the 1st match especially in a 3-match series is always crucial and England will look like to seize their opportunity.
T20I is the most suited format for the visitors especially in Indian conditions and the Eoin Morgan-led side will look to come all guns blazing ahead of the 2nd encounter in Nagpur. The England pacers varied their pace to perfection which prevented the Men in Blue from playing the big shots, especially in the death overs. Virat Kohli will be a worried man ahead of the 2nd T20I and he might be tempted to bring in a couple of changes in the must-win encounter.
Despite their dominance in the tour so far, the hosts have some serious problems ahead of the must-win encounter in Nagpur. The openers haven’t quite got going which might tempt Kohli to go with Rishabh Pant at the top of the order. “The Pocket Sized Dynamite” has been in the scintillating form of late and has been scoring heaps of runs in the domestic circuit. After an impressive U19 World Cup, Pant announced his arrival in first-class cricket with a stupendous triple century against Maharashtra followed by a 48 balls century against semi-finalists Jharkhand.
The middle order looks quite settled with the likes of Virat Kohli, MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh looking in good nick. While Kohli scored a match-winning century in the opening ODI at Pune, Dhoni and Yuvraj both scored magnificent centuries in the 2nd ODI to give India an unassailable 2-0 lead in the ODI series. Kedar Jadhav who was quite a sensation in the ODIs isn’t a part of the T20I team which is surely hurting India given his hitting prowess, especially in the death overs.
With Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja being rested for the series, the spin department looks inexperienced but with Amit Mishra in the ranks, Kohli will be tempted to field him as he is an experienced customer and can lend the much-needed stability in the spin department. With Yuzvendra Chahal performing very well in the opening T20I, Parvez Rasool is expected to receive the axe if Mishra is included.
Jasprit Bumrah hasn’t performed to his potential in the last 4 matches but given his reputation in the shortest format, he will be an important bowler. He has overstepped in crucial junctures of the game and has even taken wickets off no balls and free hits. With the must-win encounter coming up, Bumrah will look to replicate his performance from 2016.
The T20I format is perhaps the most suited for the English side especially in Indian conditions and it was quite evident from their performance in the 1st encounter. They outplayed the hosts in all three departments of the game and was the deserving winners as Virat Kohli admitted in the post-match presentation. The Brits look like a settled unit and will have their nose slightly ahead going into the 2nd match at Nagpur.
Jason Roy has been striking the ball very well and along with Sam Billings, the duo has the ability to take the game away from the opposition within a blink of an eye. Even in the 1st match, it was their breezy 42 runs stand for the opening wicket which laid the foundation for an easy run chase in the end.
Morgan has shone in class in the limited-overs series so far scoring a century in the 2nd ODI followed by a match-winning half-century in the 1st T20I. Joe Root, on the other hand, has been a prolific run-scorer across all formats and knows when to defend and when to accelerate.
Ben Stokes has been the standout performer for the visitors on the tour so far and he will continue from where he left in the ODI series. He was little expensive with the ball in 1st T20I but was pretty impressive in the ODI series. He has played some sizzling knocks and has propelled his team to mammoth totals batting late in the order.
Left-arm seamer Tymal Mills bowled an inspired spell in his debut match as he stemmed the run flow, especially in the death overs. He bowled well-disguised slower deliveries and didn’t give any pace to the batsmen to work with. Chirs Jordan who replaced injured Chris Woakes also had a good outing in Kanpur.
Toss: England won the toss & elected to bowl first
Quotes from the toss:
Eoin Morgan: “We are going to bowl first. Looks like a typical India wicket. Plunket misses out and Dawson is playing. It is coming towards the end of the tour and winning in India is difficult. We aren’t taking last two wins granted.”
Virat Kohli: “Preferably wanted to bowl first, but seeing the last game against New Zealand, it became a lot difficult to chase and the wicket became slow. The pitch will deteriorate as the game progress. We’ve got an extra leg spinner. For an off-spinner, we thought we could use Raina as an option. 8 overs from two leg spinners might be the difference between them. Two leg spinners might create some difference. There will be turn for sure. First innings is the best time to bat on for sure. We are not too upset about losing the toss. Just the one change and rest of the side are same.”
Stats and Trivia
64- MS Dhoni is 64 balls away from facing 1000 deliveries in T20I cricket
14- Virat Kohli is 14 runs away from completing 1700 T20I runs
4- Kohli is just 4 matches away from completing his 50 T20I games
9- MS Dhoni 9 catches away from completing 50 catches in T20Is