India vs England: India look to bounce back after a forgettable outing in 1st T20I
It was touted as the match of equals after the Test series which was all about India turning over the tourists comfortably.
But the events of the first T20I in Ahmedabad left India with a few questions they will want to answer before things go out of control. That there is just a day gap between the two games means that it will be easier for India to forget the debacle – some may call it just a minor glitch, but Kohli’s men would do well to treat it like a chronic problem and not just a blip.
India’s last T20I series was against Australia in Australia where they had registered a 2-1 victory but, in many ways, the ongoing 5-match series was expected to be an indication of how well they are prepared for the World Cup challenge.
In the pre-series conference, skipper Virat Kohli talked about playing in a certain way but iterated after the first match that does not mean the team will not take into consideration the conditions on offer.
One good thing about the series is the consistency in the venue which may help teams plan better, especially India who may tweak their combination a bit to come out better prepared.
But there’s only so much India can tweak. Having already decided on resting Rohit Sharma for the first two games, they will want to give another chance to the Dhawan-Rahul pair. Skipper Kohli’s recent form may be a concern but there’s enough empirical evidence that suggests that all he needs is an innings.
Against a side like England, which is full of willow wielders from top to bottom, the best a can team is do to stick to their plans and trust the bowlers. But the management may just get tempted to introduce a few changes in the department, as that’s the case after heavy losses.
As far as England are concerned, they have seen enough in their last few weeks in India to not let the result of the first game lull them into complacency.
They must have identified the advantages that they have over the current India team and would want to continue building on them. The ball is clearly shifted to India’s court who will have to ensure that the apparent difference between the two sides is erased when they meet again in less than 24 hours.
Likely Playing XIs
India: Shikhar Dhawan, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, Axar Patel/Rahul Chahar, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal, T Natrajan/Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
England: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler (wk), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood
India vs England, 2nd T20I
When: 14th March, 7:30 PM
Where: Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad