India vs England 2020-21, 5th T20I preview: Stage set for a thrilling decider
India and England have been engaged in a gruelling five-match Twenty20 International series. With the series locked 2-2, it has all come down to the decider. While England would be looking to extend its T20I series-unbeaten run to nine, India looks to expand its run to eight.
After four thrilling and exciting Twenty20 International clashes, the fifth and final game would be held at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad on Saturday. The series is currently locked 2-2, as it all comes down to the decider.
Although England has retained its top spot in the ICC T20I Rankings, it would be looking to extend its unbeaten streak to nine series, while India, too, would be aiming to expand its run to eight series. On the same note, we present the match preview for this magnificent decider.
Both sides' form has been mixed of late, as the series scoreline of 2-2 proves it perfectly. Furthermore, both are equally competitive and besides having a formidable squad, they have the series-winning runs to their advantage. Also, while India has the home advantage, England is the number one ranked side in the format, thus making both equal favourites.
Team composition and combination
As for the team, both sides have formidable squads. For India, while they have big guns, the rookies and young guns are turning up the heat. With an extensive batting line-up, followed by a reliable bowling attack, India will most likely stick with the same combination.
Meanwhile, England, too, has a set and broad batting line-up, with a stable bowling attack. It is doubtful that it is to fiddle with the winning combination either.
Team India's injury concerns continue with uncapped spinner Varun Chakravarthy and pacer T Natarajan. Although skipper Virat Kohli had a thigh niggle in the last game, it is not as concerning. Also, a groin strain for Ishan Kishan is a worry. As for England, the entire side does not really have any injury concerns.
As for the head-on clashes, both have faced each other on 18 occasions, winning nine each. In India, it has been ten games for both, with both winning five apiece, while in Ahmedabad, there have been four, with twin wins for both.
Weather and pitch report
The weather in Ahmedabad would once again be hot, with the temperature being around 38 degrees. The dew played a factor in the last game and could be the same for this. The track is likely to be sporty, with any total above 180 being challenging.
India: KL Rahul/Ishan Kishan, Rohit Sharma, Suryakumar Yadav, Virat Kohli (c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Rahul Chahar/Yuzvendra Chahal and Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
England: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler (wk), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Chris Jordan and Jofra Archer.
Batsmen: Roy, Iyer, Kohli- Roy is the suitable opener in form, while Kohli can come in handy in the top-order. Meanwhile, Iyer is the right guy to consolidate in the middle owing to his reliable form.
Wicketkeepers: Bairstow, Buttler, Pant- While Buttler can partner Roy as an opener in-form, Bairstow can chip in the middle with the bat owing to his consistent form, while Pant can act as a power-hitter in the middle.
All-rounders: Stokes, Pandya- Both men are in lethal form across departments and are no-brainers for this.
Bowlers: Archer, Wood, Chahal- Archer and Wood have been the men in-form with the pace and would undoubtedly develop other prolific performances. As for Chahal, being India's best T20 spinner, he is a must-have.
Date and day: March 20, 2021 (Saturday)
Venue: Narendra Modi Stadium, Ahmedabad
Time: 7 PM (IST)
Where to watch (TV): Star Sports 1 and Star Sports 1 Hindi (Also available in HD, along with regional languages)
Where to watch (Online): Hotstar