About the Match
India won the ODI series against England 2-1 after an emphatic victory in the second match; the two teams will now go up against each other in a 3-match T20 series beginning with the 1st T20 at Kanpur on 26th January. While England registered a consolation win in the third ODI match by a close margin of 5 runs, they have been dominated by the hosts throughout and will now look to unleash their T20 power to make amends. India on the other hand will be eager to continue with their winning momentum and could well bring out some fireworks across the park to delight their fans here.
The Virat Kohli-led T20 squad consists of experienced players like MS Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina, bowlers Ashish Nehra and Amit Mishra, who have helped the team win under crunch situations in the past. Kohli personally has been performing well with the bat, and could lead the team from the front; his 122 off 105 in the first ODI helped them chase down 351 runs easily.
Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh’s brilliant 4th wicket partnership of 256 runs which featured a career-best 150 for Yuvraj, and a 10th hundred for the erstwhile captain, is a good sign for the team and they could come out all guns blazing yet again. Youngsters like Mandeep Singh, Manish Pandey, Lokesh Rahul, Rishabh Pant and Bumrah would be raring to go here and showcase their skills ahead of the IPL season.
The bowling squad consists of speedsters Nehra, Bumrah, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya, who can provide quick breakthroughs while spinners like Amit Mishra, Pervez Rasool, Yuzvendra Chahal and part-timers Yuvraj Singh and Raina could wreak havoc on the opposition.
Eoin Morgan leads the side that consists of in-form batsmen like Joe Root, Sam Billings, Jonny Bairstow, Buttler and all-rounders Ben Stokes and Chris Woakes, who helped them win the 3rd ODI match by 5 runs with a good batting and bowling display. Morgan’s 102 off 81 steadied the chase for 382 in the 2nd ODI but his efforts went in vain as they lost by 15 runs; Root and Ali contributed well with half centuries while Jason Roy started the chase with a well-made 82. Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett and Chris Jordan add depth to the batting line-up and could bring out their fire power here.
The bowling unit has T20 specialists like Tymal Mills, who has had a good season playing T20s around the world last year and can pack a punch at Kanpur too; other fast-bowlers like David Willey, Ben Stokes, Liam Plunkett and Jake Ball have done well consistently and could provide regular wickets. Spinners include Adil Rashid, Liam Dawson, Moeen Ali and the all-rounder Joe Root, and the sub-continent conditions could suit them well in the opening match.
Overall, the team has done well in recent past in this format of the game, and although playing against India in their own backyard is a tough challenge for any visiting side, England could draw inspiration from their recent victory in the 3rd ODI.
Both sides have a well-balanced team consisting of experienced players and young talent, who could help their team to dominate on the field; while India has a power-packed batting line-up, England has several in-form speedsters who can prove to be a tough nut to crack. The result could swing either way but we feel that the men in blue have better firepower to emerge victorious on Thursday