India vs England – Key Battles To Watch Out For During The First T20I In Ahmedabad
India will clash with England in a marquee five-match T20I series which gets underway at Motera in Ahmedabad from the 12th of March. The series assumes significance as it can potentially change the order of the T20I rankings if the hosts win by a margin of 4-1 or 5-0. Both the teams consist of several big players and the battles between some of these superstars will eventually determine the outcome of the match and series.
We look at three key battles that will determine the result of the first encounter.
1. Rohit Sharma vs Chris Jordan
Rohit Sharma had a brilliant Test series against England and would want to make an early statement in the T20I series as well. He has the ability to tear apart any bowling attack on any surface in the world. Rohit is also a phenomenal hitter in the format and is only behind Martin Guptill on the sixes count in international T20 cricket. He loves to play the pull shot and likes the ball coming onto the bat early in his innings.
The Indian mega star will have to confront England’s T20 specialist Chris Jordan in the initial few overs. Jordan has the knack of picking wickets and also bowls a deadly yorker. He also likes to bang the ball in and that could tempt Rohit to play his favourite pull shot. Don’t be surprised if Morgan keeps two fielders for the Indian opener behind square deep on the leg-side.
2. Rishabh Pant vs Adil Rashid
This is a mouth-watering contest that could decide the match in the middle overs. Rashid, like Chahal, likes to control the game after the powerplay but India’s formidable batting line-up may not allow him to settle during that phase of play. Rishabh Pant who has been in scintillating form in Test cricket during the last few months would want to repeat his heroics for India in the shortest format too. He will definitely go after Rashid with the ball coming into the left-hander.
3. Dawid Malan vs Yuzvendra Chahal
Dawid Malan had had an incredible start to his T20I career and will be England’s playmaker at number three. He was the Player of the Series against South Africa and has the ability to score big runs at a high strike rate. While Malan has shown his prowess against top quality fast bowling all over the world he is yet to dominate a high quality spin attack in Asia. And this is where he will be tested in the heat of Ahmedabad against the class of Yuzvendra Chahal.
Chahal is a wicket-taking leg break bowler for India who likes to control the middle overs. He has been one of India’s biggest match-winners with the ball in limited overs cricket in the last few overs. Chahal’s stock delivery will come into Malan and thus expect the leg spinner to bowl a number of doosra’s to the left-hander. Will Malan use his feet against India’s ace spinner?