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Think before you play

India have little time to regroup and counter as they take on England in the second T20I of the five-match series in Ahmedabad on Sunday
Virat Kohli

Sudipto Gupta   |   Calcutta   |   Published 14.03.21, 02:07 AM

Outplayed and outsmarted in the first match, India have little time to regroup and counter as they take on England in the second T20I of the five-match series in Ahmedabad on Sunday. What are the areas that the hosts need to focus on? Read on…
 

Rooting for Rohit

The vice-captain was rested in the opening match and the KL Rahul-Shikhar Dhawan pair did not look convincing at all. So Rohit should return to the playing XI for Sunday. Apart from his batting skills, the 33-year-old comes with an impeccable reputation that dents bowlers’ confidence. With the English attack proving to be a top-class unit, India will need Rohit at the top to look the Jofra Archers in the eye. 

Onus on Kohli
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The vice-captain was rested in the opening match and the KL Rahul-Shikhar Dhawan pair did not look convincing at all. So Rohit should return to the playing XI for Sunday. Apart from his batting skills, the 33-year-old comes with an impeccable reputation that dents bowlers’ confidence. With the English attack proving to be a top-class unit, India will need Rohit at the top to look the Jofra Archers in the eye. 

No matter what the composition of the XI, Kohli’s importance to India remains unparalleled. For the hosts to do well, a confident Kohli is a must. The captain was not in his elements in the last outing, unsure of his approach. But knowing Kohli’s passion for the game  and the hard work he does in polishing his craft to almost perfection, it wouldn’t be surprising if he is back among runs on Sunday. However, T20 is not the format where the 32-year-old is at his unstoppable best. He tried to force his shots in the last match, but that’s not his style. He is too good a batsman to panic. India needs Kohli’s assurance in the middle order.    

Pant factor

The man who is playing impossible shots on the cricket field, Pant has delivered with distinction in the Test arena in the last few months, it’s time for him to light up the T20s now. There were glimpses of his brilliance in the last match, but India would need him to stay longer at the crease. Pant was promoted above Shreyas Iyer on Friday and he should grab such opportunities with both hands. If he clicks, England, the No.1 T20I team in the world, will probably fall short on ideas to contain runs

Combo puzzle

In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami, Kohli will have to choose his bowling attack wisely. He played three spinners — Yuzvendra Chahal, Axar Patel and Washington Sundar — in the last match. But is that the best line-up? Or will it be better to include an extra seamer? England reaped the benefits of a pace-heavy attack in the last match, but then much depends on the pitch as well. 

Try them out

Though trailing 0-1, India will also have to remember that this series is their best chance to try out a few of the newcomers and see if any of them can fit into the core group for the T20 World Cup. In Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan, India have two seriously talented batsmen on their reserve bench. When is the good time to give them a look-in?

Match starts: 7pm



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