Home TEAMS ENGLAND India vs England 1st T20I: Preview, Pitch, Possible Lineups, Players to watch...

India vs England 1st T20I: Preview, Pitch, Possible Lineups, Players to watch out & Predictions

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Hardik Pandya was key to India’s T20 success in Australia in the recent tour | Image Source: Twitter.com

After the comprehensive test series victory over the Englishman, India will be looking forward to the T20I series starting on 12th March. India will go into the series with a view to building a strong T20 side before the World Cup in India later this year. England let the Indian bowlers dominate them in the test series but when it comes to the limited-overs game, England has quite the side. Led by skipper Eoin Morgan, England’s revolution in the white-ball game post-2015 has been nothing short of marvelous.

While England will have questions on their bowling combinations, India will be pondering on the curious case of KL Rahul as fans look forward to a stunning series from him. India will also be boosted by the arrival of some T20 stars in the setup with Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan, Rahul Tewatia all making it into the squad for the hosts. England have Moeen Ali back in the team along with Sam Curran whose IPL experience alongside Stokes, Morgan, Buttler and the rest would all be important for the visitors. Liam Livingstone also gets a call-up for England after impressing in the Big Bash earlier this year.

India will be without Jasprit Bumrah for the T20I series as he is on personal leave while Sanju Samson has been dropped and Manish Pandey has been given a chance to prove his fitness in the domestic competitions. Varun Chakravarthy has also reportedly failed the fitness test and while Rahul Chahar might replace to Tamil Nadu spinner, even T Natarajan has had some fitness concerns over the past couple of days. Jofra Archer is a fitness doubt for England.

With the series being at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, India might just fancy their chances over the recent wonderful memories that they have created at the World’s Largest Cricket Stadium as they look to prepare a good enough squad before the World Cup in this T20I series. England will be looking to produce the same swashbuckling cricket that has helped them dominate the opposition and make themselves a giant in the White-ball game.

Also Read: Brian Lara’s eight strokes of class that lit up Raipur

 

PITCH

The recently concluded test series did have a curious narrative around the pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium. While it left some of the cricketing experts around the UK baffled, the basic technique of the batters from both countries was put to test in the Pink Ball Test as well as the final test of the series.

The general composition of the pitch would be the same with the red soil dominating the black and white soil meaning the wicket could be helpful yet again for the spinners. Considering the high entertainment value of T20I cricket, India and England will both be hoping that there is a good covering of grass on this pitch to make it an even contest between the bat and ball. The white ball doesn’t offer as much help to the bowlers as the Pink or Red ball would meaning that there are runs to be scored on this pitch after getting used to the pace, turn, and bounce on this pitch.

Having said that, it would not be a batting paradise and the batsman will have to work hard for their runs as the boundaries are also longer than other Indian grounds. The SMAT saw 150 being a winning total but with a better quality of batting expected, 160-170 should be a good score on this wicket after batting first. The team winning the toss will want to capitalize while the wicket is fresh and the grass holds the wicket nicely but with the dew factor, batting second wouldn’t be much bad either.

 

POSSIBLE LINEUPS

India: KL Rahul, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli (C), Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (WK), Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal.

England: Jonny Bairstow, Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Eoin Morgan (C), Jos Buttler (WK), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid.

 

PLAYERS TO LOOK OUT FOR

KL Rahul: Virat Kohli has said in his recent press conference that Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul will be the opening combination for India in this T20I series. Kannaur Lokesh Rahul has had some brilliant numbers in the format heading into this series for India. KL has scored 1542 runs in 41 innings at an average of 44.05 in T20I format for India and a dominating strike-rate of 144.92 and a high-score of 110. KL was in magnificent form in the IPL 2020 season with the bat as he piled on the runs for KXIP and looked in good nick in the limited-overs series in Australia. The explosiveness of Rahul in the powerplay along with his all-round batting ability will be crucial for India as he and Rohit will look to build a strong platform in the powerplay for India.

KL Rahul scored a half-century in the T20I series against Australia in December 2020 and his sheer exuberance will be key for India in the current series | Image Source: Telegraph Twitter

Jonny Bairstow: The curious case of Jonny Bairstow was for all to see in the recently concluded test series at the Narendra Modi Stadium. While Bairstow went through his troubles in that series, there is no denying the charisma of the English opener in the limited-overs game. Over the years for England and SRH, Bairstow has played some match-winning innings to set up a wonderful platform for his team to wrap up convincing victories. Bairstow will have kept fresh his memories of the smashing knock of 86* against South Africa at Capetown in November in the last T20I series that England played. Bairstow has the ability to change gears quickly and a strong opening partnership with Jason Roy will boost England’s chances of winning this series.

 

PREDICTIONS

The series will go a long way to deciding the combinations for both teams in the upcoming T20 World Cup in India later this year. The 1st match usually sets the tone for the series and the Indians will be looking to get the early advantage at a ground they done well over the last couple of weeks, albeit in a different format. Hardik Pandya’s return along with KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar certainly makes India a much better T20I outfit.

While the English team will miss Jofra Archer, this batting lineup boasts of names that would put a chill down the spine of any bowling lineup in the world. The team batting first might have a slight advantage in the game but both teams are good at chasing down totals so it might be a tough call to pick a winner here. However, with India’s recent T20 form, the hosts will be favorites to go 1-0 up in the series.

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