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India and England are ready to face each other in the T20 series and it is almost like everything that preceded this contest was an extended warm-up. Ireland did not test India while Australia was no match for England. India and England are two of the best limited-overs sides in the world and they will go at each other hard. The last time England and India squared off, it was in India and even though England came close, India was able to win thanks to its spinners.
Can England reverse the tables this time around or will India finally be able to crack the code to stop this rampaging English side?
For a side that dominated ODI cricket on most days, England still does not seem as comfortable in T20 cricket as one would expect. Of course, now that England’s players are playing plenty of top-class T20 cricket around the world, that should change rather soon as well.
Confidence in the England camp is running sky high after the demolition job they pulled off on Australia. There is no doubt that England banks on its batting to do the job most of the time. Players like Jos Buttler, Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Eoin Morgan, Jonny Bairstow, and Joe Root make for an incredible lineup.
There are all-rounders like Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, and Tom Curran, in the side as well to further boost the batting. England can basically go hard from the first ball and not think about losing wickets till the end of the inning.
The question, though, is whether England will be able to do this against an Indian bowling attack that will test them like never before.
England is not the most comfortable against wrist spin and they will be up against two of the best while facing India. The Indian fast bowlers are also pretty good and can hurry up the batsmen but it is the slower bowlers that will make the difference.
Hardik Pandya as the all-rounder is one bowler that can be targeted by the England batsmen knowing fully well that India does not have too many options to fill in.
England’s own bowling attack is a bit of a problem as well. A fast bowling unit of Willey, Jordan, and Plunkett is not going to scare anyone. These are talented bowlers but do not have the pace to really hurry the batsmen up. The spinners, Ali, Rashid, and Root, were very effective against Australia but to ask the same job off them against India is going to be difficult.
We believe that Adil Rashid’s bowling will decide the manner in which England’s bowling holds up because the two off-spinners are going to be attacked from ball one.
England goes into this contest knowing its strengths well and confident of performing when it counts but they will also be aware of the challenge that India poses.
Jos Buttler, JJ Roy, AD Hales, JE Root, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Moeen Ali, David Willey, Chris Jordan, AU Rashid, LE Plunkett.
We don’t think the Indian management counted the wins against Ireland as ones that really mattered. For the Indian team, the tour to England starts now and this T20 against England will be their first big test.
How does the Indian team’s batting stack up against the never-ending lineup of England? While the Indian team has a very strong batting lineup itself, we don’t think its batting is as strong as England’s. It certainly does not have the depth that England possess and a closer look at it displays some potential weaknesses.
It looks like the opening partnership of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma is set in stone. Virat Kohli is a self-proclaimed fan of Rohit’s batting and will not want to change a working combination. Both openers are in good form as well.
Dhawan, in fact, enjoys batting in England and has always done well here in the past. He is our pick to be India’s mainstay in the limited-overs leg of the series. Number three for India is a very interesting proposition.
There are three contenders. Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, and Lokesh Rahul. Kohli is the best batsman in the world and should be allowed to play the maximum possible deliveries. Lokesh Rahul is making himself undroppable in all three formats while Suresh Raina brings a useful 6th bowling option to the table.
We think India will stick with Kohli at 3, Raina at 4, Dhoni at 5, and Karthik at 6. There is also the option of Manish Pandey at 6 but he will probably miss out as well. Hardik Pandya, Bhuvaneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, and the two spinners will likely complete the Indian team for the opening match.
Batting Pandya at 7 could be a risk in seaming conditions but the batting conditions are expected to be pristine for the white ball matches. India may possibly lack in power hitting, particularly if Dhoni struggles to replicate his IPL form in international cricket.
Dhawan and Virat will be the two batsmen that England will want to see the back of quickest.
Where India does have an advantage over England is its bowling lineup. Bhuvaneshwar Kumar is very good at the death and is able to find any swing on offer up front as well. The real trump cards for India are going to be its two spinners.
Chahal and Kuldeep are in very good form and will test the England batting. They know England has no option but to come hard at them which works in their favor. Picking the two spinners out of the hand is not going to be easy. The result of the match may well come down to how well England is able to face the Indian spinners.
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, V Kohli, SK Raina, Lokesh Rahul, MS Dhoni, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, YS Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
Read our guide on toss predictions to learn how we analyze and come up with our tips.
Excellent weather has been forecast for Manchester for the opening game of this series. Trent Bridge is one of the best batting grounds in the world and is an apt venue for these two teams. We think that the scores in this match are likely to be around 200 for sure. Only a batting collapse from one of the teams will see a low-scoring match but the quality of players on both sides makes that unlikely.
Spinners on both sides will play a key role.
India is the 2nd ranked T20 team in the world. England is playing some of its best cricket and is playing in home conditions. There is very little to choose between the two sides. In situations like this, we tend to go for the better bowling side, and we believe that India has the better attack for the T20’s.
Back India to win.