TEST PREVIEW: England have the perfect opportunity to bounce back from defeat as their five-match T20 series against India begins – in what will be ideal preparation for the upcoming World Cup
- England once again go head-to-head with India as the T20 action gets underway
- The visitors come into the challenge after a disappointing 3-1 Test series loss
- It is ideal preparation for the impending World Cup, which starts in October
- After rotating during the Test series, England are now back to full strength
England will look to immediately bounce back from their disappointing Test series defeat to India as the Twenty20 action gets underway.
After claiming an historic win in their opening Test against India, it was the hosts who won the following three, as England’s questionable policy of rotation perhaps proved costly in the end.
The action now quickly resumes on Friday, as England’s Tour of India continues.
Eoin Morgan prepares to lead his England side into another challenging match-up with India
Morgan dished out instructions ahead of a net session in Wednesday’s practice session
With the T20 World Cup starting in October, England now step up their preparations with a mouthwatering clash against rivals India.
The challenge will come almost as a dress rehearsal for the impending tournament, which will, of course, be hosted by India.
Though it was the hosts who dominated the Test series, England will come in full of confidence, with arguably their strongest possible squad in hand.
Captain Eoin Morgan will have the likes of T20’s leading batsman Dawid Malan in his arsenal, with his squad currently ranked at at No1 by the ICC.
England have won every series they’ve played in over the last three years, but India’s record is also formidable, having lost just two of their last 15 completed T20Is.
It makes for an intriguing couple of weeks ahead.
India vs England T20: How to watch
The five upcoming matches, which will all be contested in the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad, will be played at much more reasonable hours for UK viewers.
Indeed, all five of the T20 matches will commence at 1.30pm, while two of three of the ODI matches will start at 8am, with the other at 9am.
The T20 action will be broadcast live on Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Cricket.
Sky Sports subscribers can also watch the game online by streaming it on Sky Go.
Viewers can also buy Sky Sports day pass from NowTV for £9.99, with a month pass at £33.99.
India vs England T20: How to listen
Should you rather consume your cricket entertainment on the radio, live ball-to-ball coverage will be available on talkSPORT 2.
Their commentary will get underway at 12.30pm on Friday, with Darren Gough, Matt Prior, Alex Tudor, Guy Swindells and Andrew McKenna providing their analysis throughout.
India vs England: Team news
Jofra Archer has been included in the England squad despite a persistent shoulder injury
As stated above, England return to full strength for the five T20 matches, though there is a slight concern over the fitness of Jofra Archer.
The electric bowler is currently struggling with his recurring shoulder injury, which could prove problematic.
Nevertheless, England have bowlers aplenty to pick from, with the likes of Mark Wood, Reece Topley and Tom Curran all available.
As for India, both Rahul Tewatia and T Natarajan are doubts, while Varun Chakravarthy will miss the series after failing a fitness test.
The hosts are likely to open their batting with Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul, but Shikhar Dhawan is also in contention.
India vs England: T20 squads
India: Virat Kohli (capt), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik, Rishabh Pant, Ishan Kishan (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Rahul Tewatia, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur.
England: Eoin Morgan (capt), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonathan Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, Mark Wood).
Reserves: Jake Ball and Matt Parkinson.
India vs England: What’s been said?
India captain Virat Kohli believes England will be the team to beat in the T20 World Cup
It was India who prevailed in their last home series between the two in 2017-18, taking it 2-1 despite losing the opening match.
And in fact, despite the pair winning seven apiece from their 17 T20 match-ups, India have won four of the last five.
Nevertheless, India captain Virat Kohli believes it’s England who will be the team to beat come the World Cup.
The India skipper said: ‘I actually think it’s England who will be the team to beat. They’re the number one side in the world and the prime focus will be on them in this World Cup.
‘All the other teams will be wary of the strengths that they bring on to the park and every other team would agree with what I say: it’s England who are the favourites and that will not change regardless of how they think.’
Meanwhile, despite the injury concerns, the England captain has highlighted just what Jofra Archer can bring to his side.
‘He is a huge asset,’ said Morgan. ‘He has express pace, can bowl cutters, variations and has a very good yorker. He is threatening whenever he comes on.’
‘He’s always been engaging,’ said Morgan. ‘He is a younger member of our squad that has different interests to the majority because they’re in their late 20s, early 30s.
‘He loves enjoying what he does – travelling, playing Xbox, playing cricket in front of big, big crowds and he is a huge family man. The more I have got to know him the better our relationship is.’
Five-day Test matches
- 1st Test – England beat India by 227 runs
- 2nd Test – India beat England by 317 runs
- 3rd Test – India beat England by 10 wickets
- 4th Test – India beat England by an innings and 25 runs
- March 12 (Ahmedabad), 1.30pm GMT
- March 14 (Ahmedabad), 1.30pm GMT
- March 16 (Ahmedabad), 1.30pm GMT
- March 18 (Ahmedabad), 1.30pm GMT
- March 20 (Ahmedabad), 1.30pm GMT
- March 23 (Pune), 8am GMT
- March 26 (Pune), 8am GMT
- March 28 (Pune), 9am BST
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