By News Team
9th March 2021
Eoin Morgan’s side will be well aware of the dangers they face against Virat Kohli’s men that inflicted a crushing 3-1 defeat against Joe Roots red-ball side in the four-match Test series. England are currently the no.1 ranked T20 side in the world and with the T20 World Cup being played later this year in India there will be no better preparation than a solid display in this series.
Selection, selection, selection
Most talk before England series or games now is based around selection and England’s rotation policy, and it seems this T20 series is no different. There will be a lot of fresh players flying out to India who were not involved in the Test series, while Ben Stokes, Joffra Archer, and Jonny Bairstow will be staying on hoping to forget about the Test series defeat and leave with a T20 series victory under the belt.
Archer is an immediate concern for the England camp, the fast bowler has been suffering with an ongoing elbow injury which forced him to miss out in two of the Tests. He will be key to England’s chances in the T20s and any doubt around his selection should not be underestimated, he is currently the joint favourite to lead England’s wicket tally in the first game alongside leg-spinner Adil Rashid. Both players are 11/4 and Rashid’s spin will be crucial to the chances of English success, conditions will suit him and although the turning pitches we have seen in the Test series may not be on show there will still be something in it for the spinners.
Jos Buttler returns from his brief rest as he was left out of the side for the final three Tests, as per England’s rotation policy. Hopefully coming back invigorated he will be able to dominate with the bat as he has done time and time again, he is also a joint favourite but this time to lead the run charge at 3/1. Joining Buttler for favouritism is the world’s best T20 batsmen according to rankings, Dawid Malan. In the T20 form of his life, the Middlesex-batsmen will be relied upon at the top of the order to continue his fine form and reach the big scores that he is capable of.
How England decides to line up for the opening game could potentially impact the further series with many players vying for limited openings the competitiveness of this England squad has been an issue for some time, and if some players take their opportunity then further selection headaches could ensue. While England are ranked no.1 in the world for good reason the inform India team will be no roll-over. Eoin Morgan and his men will need to be up to the task in what will be a tough series, the visitors are priced at 11/10 to get a victory in the opening game, and captain Morgan is 11/2 to lead by example with the bat in the opener.
Spin to win
India at present occupy third spot on the ICC world rankings and they know their conditions well, this is reflected in their price of 8/11. Their spin bowlers will look to dominate the English batsmen as they did in the Test series and this will be a huge contest across the series. Yuzvendra Chahal is most likely to be the key threat for the hosts, the former international Chess player is favourite amongst the Indian bowlers to do the most damage at 11/4. With so many bowling options at his disposable it will be tough to pick for Kohli but judging by the Test series Axar Patel may warrant consideration. At 4/1 to lead the hosts wicket taking column, he showed his capabilities with the red-ball and the Delhi Capitals star could be capable of causing misery to the English batsmen.
As always, Kohli will be the biggest threat to England with the bat, while the captain didn’t fire during the Test series, it would take a brave person to write him off for the T20 series as well. At 10/3 he is the favourite in the Indian squad to lead the run charge, while to do so in an Indian victory he is 5/1.
This will be a compelling series and not short in entertainment, the visitors will hope to learn a lot about their World Cup squad in these conditions and the same can be said for the hosts, who will look to use this series as a confidence boost ahead of their World Cup campaign.