Having blown England away in the recently-concluded four-Test series, India will look to dish out some more pain on the visiting English side in the five-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series, starting on Friday. However, both teams will have some fresh faces with limited-overs specialists coming in for the Test stars. England will have their T20I and One-day International (ODI) captain in Eoin Morgan back while India have three brand new names in the squad. Ahmedabad will host all five matches in the series.
Here is a look at the players that could have the biggest impact on the series:
India’s star all-rounder has not bowled in a while, and it will be interesting to see whether or not he takes the ball in the series against England. Hardik had played as a specialist batsman in the T20I series against Australia, scoring a total of 78 runs in the three matches with a high score of 42 not out.
More importantly, he got his runs at a strike-rate of 156. India, though, will need the Hardik who can also bowl his four overs, especially against an England team that have some massive performers in the shortest format.
The wicket-keeper batsman has been the biggest gamechanger for India ever since he was brought back into the team in the Test series against Australia.
Pant’s confidence will be at an all-time high following his heroics against England in the Tests. He is already a massive threat in the shorter formats, and his recent form will only put more fear in the English bowlers.
England’s weakness against spin bowling was laid bare in the Test series, with Ravichandran Ashwin and Axar Patel running amok. How the English handle four overs of leg spin from Chahal at the Narendra Modi Stadium, could very well define their series.
With Axar still in the mix as well, England could face again face a trial by spin. The leg-spinner took four wickets in the T20I series in Australia but was taken for plenty — economy rate of 9.75.
Morgan is back at the helm for England, and the visitors will be hoping he has brought some good fortune with him for England.
The left-hander is one of the most dangerous middle-order batsmen in the shortest format going around the world currently, and keeping him quiet will be crucial to India’s cause.
Not many in India would have followed the journey of Dawid Malan but the England batsman happens to be the current top-ranked T20I player in the world. Having first made an impression with a whirlwind century against Sri Lanka A in Northampton in 2016, Malan has become one of the most sought-after names in T20 leagues around the world.
He has played in the Big Bash League, Pakistan Super League among other tournaments, Malan was picked up by Punjab Kings in the recent IPL auction.
The England all-rounder started the Test series against India with a bang, scoring a fluent 82 but struggled thereafter with his only other notable contribution with the bat coming in the final Test where he scored 55 in the first innings. Stokes struggled big-time against spin with Ashwin making him his bunny.
The 29-year-old would be looking for a change in the fortunes in the T20Is and with no Ashwin in the Indian team, Stokes might just have a better time in the middle.
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