India take on England in the first T20I of their three-match series that begins in Kanpur on January 26. Hear Shruti Chopra and Suneer Chowdhary discuss the two teams’ chances in this opening encounter by clicking on the YouTube video below.
India did win the ODI series but will go into these T20Is with a defeat next to their name – should that have any bearing on how they approach this one?
I would like to believe no, I think India played rather well in that ODI series and got out of jail on a couple of occasions and almost managed to do it again in that third game before suffering that narrow defeat at Kolkata. Look this is quite a difficult format to gauge at best of times and when the teams are evenly-matched it’s even more difficult to pick a winner but that’s how I think it is, two quite well-balanced sides who will come out at each other without too much regard for what happened in the ODIs before this game.
Speaking of balance, what team combination do you think Kohli will go with? Lot of young guns to complement India’s experience.
For starters the selectors have very wisely decided to rest R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja in the lead-up to the Tests against Australia which is clearly a bigger priority for the management but what that also does is to allow the selectors to have a look at the likes of Yazuvendra Chahal and Parvez Rasool. I am not sure if both will play this game with Amit Mishra also brought in while I would have preferred someone like Kuldeep Yadav in the squad as far as the bowling is concerned.
And their batting? Do the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina get another go?
The reason why I spoke of the Indian bowling first is because that’s a problem area in white ball cricket, we saw what happened at the Wankhede Stadium in the World T20 semi-final and then against the same side in Lauderhill in the USA. As far as the Indian batting is concerned, the order looks pretty much settled bar one position. Two spinners, two speedsters and Hardik Pandya will form the five-man bowling, which leaves six batting slots – Rahul and Mandeep look most likely to open, and Kohli, Dhoni and Yuvraj look to have cemented their positions as well which leaves Manish Pandey, Suresh Raina and Rishabh Pant to fight it out for that remaining slot. Should be interesting to see who does Kohli pitch for.
Yes it should be because I’m sure he’d want to get this right in the first match itself. On to England now.. What do you make of them…they sure look like they have the game to challenge the best in white-ball cricket.
They do, they definitely do. Not for nothing did they make it to the final of the World T20 – wins over South Africa, Sri Lanka and New Zealand on the way. Since that finals defeat they have beaten Sri Lanka and lost to Pakistan in one-games at home and there is an interesting pattern to their results – England have never lost a game in which they have batted second since May 2014, which is partially because they have batted first in some of those games but equally because teams haven’t been able to find out a way to defend those totals against the very strong English line-up.
Wow, quite encouraging signs and it could potentially mean that Engalnd could end this dismal tour on a high, but, before I get carried away, how does this translate to their performances on Indian pitches?
One can only wish the Kanpur surface isn’t as bland in its nature as the three ODI pitches were at Pune, Cuttack and Kolkata. Well, the Kolkata surface did have some grass but it eased out to be a belter too…Kanpur has never hosted a T20I before this but the last time an ODI was played here in 2015, India had made 298 to South Africa’s 305. There were a couple of IPL games played here too last season where again, the surface looked flat, and the only advantage bowlers might have is the afternoon start which means the game should be over by the time the dew comes in.
Any exciting English players to look out for?
I am quite excited to have a look at fast bowler Tymal Mills, who can crank it up to speeds of high 140 clicks, but it needs to be seen if he gets a go. Jason Roy had three good outings during the ODIs and I wonder if he was waiting for the T20Is to get to that much-needed century.
And what’s your prediction?
I will be leaning towards the team batting second again, with both those games in the IPL having been won by the side chasing.