India will clash with England in the fourth match of the T20I series in Ahmedabad on Thursday. England lead the series 2-1 and India face a must win battle. What will define the encounter would be the finer match-ups within the larger battle. We look at three such potential clashes in the match.
1. KL Rahul vs Mark Wood
Three ducks in his last four T20I innings. Only 1 run in the series so far. KL Rahul is clearly under pressure, but the captain Virat Kohli has promised to back him at the top of the order. So he’ll be up against the bowler who got through his defence in the previous game – Mark Wood.
Wood has tormented India’s batsmen with tremendous pace in the Power Play, generating plenty of bounce too. Rahul is down in confidence while Wood is high after playing crucial role in England’s two wins. Rahul will perhaps look to attack his way out of trouble, so a fascinating battle awaits.
2. Rishabh Pant and Ishan Kishan vs Adil Rashid
Rishabh Pant may well again be seen batting at number 4 to counter England’s spin ace Adil Rashid. With his stock delivery coming into the left-hander, Pant and Ishan Kishan would go with the turn and look to use their feet and attack the leg break bowler. But it may not be that easy on a wicket expected to assist spin and turn.
Rashid will look to slip in a few quiet overs in the middle phase of the Indian innings. To counter that is the exact reason why Pant has been promoted by Kohli. There could even be a situation where Kishan and Pant bat together, which could mean fireworks. Gear up!
3. Bhuvneshwar Kumar vs Jos Buttler
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has been excellent for India with the new ball in the first couple of matches. He has kept the English batsmen under check and also picked the big wicket of Jos Buttler early in the second encounter. However, Buttler put that behind him in the third game to produce a Man of the Match winning half-century that sealed the game.
How will Bhuvneshwar control Buttler? That’s the question India will be discussing in the team meetings.