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India vs England 2020-21: India eyes top spot in T20Is as England aims for payback

India and England are all set to face off in a five-match Twenty20- International series, starting Friday. India is coming off a terrific 3-1 win against the side in the just-concluded four-Test series and retained the Anthony de Mello Trophy. Now, it would eye the top spot in T20Is.

India vs England 2020-21: India eyes top spot in T20Is as England aims for payback-ayh
Author
Motera, First Published Mar 10, 2021, 5:34 PM IST
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With the Test commitments done, for now, it is time for India and England to switch to the shorter versions. The two sides would be involved in a five-match Twenty20 International series from Friday, set to be held at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.

The series would be of utmost importance to both sides to gain a fresh set of momentum in the format, keeping an eye on the upcoming ICC World T20, set to be held in India later this year. Also, England would eye the Test payback in this format, besides justifying its number one ranking in the format currently. However, India, too, would aim for the top spot as we present the preview for the series and what we can expect.

Squad composition
As for the squad, India is moving in with a batting-heavy side. Bolstered by Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, along with Hardik Pandya and Rahul Tewatia, can be highly explosive. Also, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant are promising ones.

Alongside 12 batsmen, the side possesses 11 bowlers. While T20 specialist Yuzvendra Chahal is sure to come in handy, Bhuvneshwar Kumar's return will definitely reinforce the side, along with Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur.

Meanwhile, England, too, has moved in with a heavy batting side, with as many as 11. Skipper Eoin Morgan would play a huge role, while opener Jason Roy has a task at hand to prove his worth yet again. Ben Stokes, along with Jonny Bairstow and Jos Buttler, would look get their Test rustiness aside and plat fresh in this format.

There are nine of the bowlers, as Jofra Archer and Mark Wood will have to deliver with their pace. As for the spinners, both Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid will have a huge role to play.

ALSO WATCH: Here's how Hardik Pandya is training for T20Is

Team strength and weaknesses
India's strength relies immensely on its bowling. With 11 bowlers, India has enough options to frustrate England. While Chahal is sure to trouble the visitor with his leg-spins, Axar Patel, too, can come in handy. Among pacer, Bhuvneshwar's seam and Saini's accuracy is to play a huge role.

Although India's batting is not as strong as its bowling, it has even more options in this department. Nonetheless, Rohit, Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan, along with Pandya, will have a huge role to play. Expect Suryakumar Yadav to put in a cameo show as well, along with Ishan Kishan.

England, on the other hand, has a batting headache. First and foremost, it is its top-order that has been extremely unsettled of late and desperately needs to get off to a flier. While Morgan and Stokes can stabilise things in the middle, Bairstow, too, needs to chip in, along with the Curran brothers.

As for its bowling, Rashid and Moeen are sure to dominate with the spin. Meanwhile, it would be interesting to see how Archer puts his Indian Premier League experience to use, along with Chris Jordan and Wood.

Players to watch out
Kohli: The skipper has been without an international century for more than a year. Furthermore, his form in the Tests was far from his best. He would desperately need to get some runs under his belt, especially a century, which would help him lift his stature before the ICC mega event.
Pandya: The explosive all-rounder is sure to fire with the bat. While he has limited himself with his fast bowling, it would be interesting to see if he can resume it full-time and if he does, is he able to churn out some wickets.
Roy: The opener has not been in the best of his form in the past few games. However, being a T20 specialist, he has been given enough chances. It's about time he gets off to a flying start to aid England's already unstable top-order.
Stokes: While the horror from the 2016 WT20 final against the Windies still haunts him, he is still one of the best bowlers in the format and has matured ever since. Although he was average in the Tests, the T20Is give him the perfect platform to prove his mettle, as English fans and management seriously want him to deliver across departments.

Milestones in the reckoning

  • Kohli needs 72 runs more to become the first to score 3,000 T20I runs.
  • Bairstow needs 68 runs more to enter the 1,000-run club and become the fifth Englishman to do so.
  • Morgan needs to play three more T20Is to become the first Englishman to feature in 100 T20Is and the fourth from the world.

 

Squads
India:
Virat Kohli (c), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Rahul Tewatia, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini and Shardul Thakur.
England: Eoin Morgan (c), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow (wk), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wk), Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley and Mark Wood.

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