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India vs England: No.1 Spot in T20Is on the Line, But Lots More to Play for Both Teams

After a gripping Test series between India and England, where the hosts emerged victorious by a 3-1 margin and qualified for the World Test Championship final, there's still a limited-overs series to be played between the two sides.

India vs England: No.1 Spot in T20Is on the Line, But Lots More to Play for Both Teams

After a gripping Test series between India and England, where the hosts emerged victorious by a 3-1 margin and qualified for the World Test Championship final, there’s still a limited-overs series to be played between the two sides. Come Friday, top two T20I teams will battle it out in a five-match series at the Narendra Modi Stadium. While the No.1 spot in the format is on the line in the series — if hosts win 4-1 or 5-0, they move top of the pile — the focus for India and England would be to get their team combination right ahead of the T20I World Cup.

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Till now both teams have faced off in 14 T20I games, and have won seven matches each. That just goes on to show how evenly balanced both teams have been over the years, in this format, and this time, it’s no different. For England, limited-overs specialists — including skipper Eoin Morgan — have flown in, while Indian team also has gotten a makeover for the series with a host of youngsters. One would expect this to be a closely contested series, but certainly, the one where teams would look to zero in on the squads for the World Cup.

INDIA

With terrific balance in the squad, India, under the leadership of Virat Kohli look poised to register another series win. They haven’t lost one in almost two years now, and the winning streak, in all likelihood should continue given the presence of star players, and the youngsters who are waiting to grab the opportunity. India white-ball regulars like Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Yuzvendra Chahal and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are back in the squad, while newbies like Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Rahul Tewatia have earned their maiden-call ups. Having said that, these youngsters are proven performers in domestic circuit, and the IPL, so the team would expect them to come out good whenever presented with an opportunity.

The squad, though looks settled, but the problem of plenty will make the selection of playing XI a tough job. The balance of the team is such, that it looks like India have a like-for-like replacement ready for practically every position. It starts with the top order, where Rohit Sharma is certain to open, but it’s not clear as to who his partner would be among Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul. Same is with the middle-order and the bowlers.

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ENGLAND

Out of the two teams, England certainly have the more experienced T20I side, one which has played a lot of cricket together. Dawid Malan, over the past some time has been a revelation in the format and could pose threat to the Indian bowlers. The form of Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow was questionable in the Tests, but they are one of the best players in this format, and India would be aware of this. But one man the hosts will be worried about is, Ben Stokes. The all-rounder is an impact player, and does the job for the team with the ball and the ball. If he gets going, he could shift the momentum to England’s side, and India must be aware of this.

The bowling looks settled too, with the presence of Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Adil Rashid and T20 pro Chris Jordan. But to beat India in India, will take a special effort from all these players.



Team Rankings

RankTeamPointsRating
1 Australia 3028 116
2 New Zealand 2406 115
3 India 3085 114
4 England 4326 106
5 Sri Lanka 2454 91
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 5405 123
2 India 6102 117
3 New Zealand 3716 116
4 Australia 4344 111
5 South Africa 3345 108
FULL Ranking
RankTeamPointsRating
1 England 6877 275
2 Australia 6800 272
3 India 10186 268
4 Pakistan 7516 259
5 South Africa 5047 252
FULL Ranking