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As the T20 World cup round the corner later this year to be hosted by India, the stakes are high for all the teams to play their best XI .  India after their roaring success in the Tests with England, wants to give England run for their money in the five T20 series starting tonight (12th March 2021) at Narendra Modi stadium, Ahmedabad.  Of course, it is a different ball game and the teams chosen for T20 also are different.

India and England have won 7 each between them in this format.  England with the best team in this format wants to prove a point.  India with their recent success in Newzeland and Australia last year is not lagging behind England and the “Home” conditions advantage is also there for India.

Though the two Tests played recently here have been spinners’ paradise , the same cannot be said for a T20I match.  In the recent SMAT Tournament played here, it was batsmen who ruled the roost and the pitch seldom helped spinners. 

As for the team composition India have to do some tinkering both in batting and some jugglery in bowling and they want to go with 6 batsmen and 5 bowlers.  Risabh Pant who’s the talk of the town with flourishing strokes at his armoury, is a blue-eyed boy of the Indian team who will be donning the gloves.  On the eve of the T20 series at the press meeting Captain Kohli already cleared the air informing that Rohit and Rahul will open the batting. And though Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan have been added to T20 squad they  have to cool their heels for some time as Indian team think tanks want to go with the already well set batsmen like Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, a pinch hitter. And for bowling since T. Natarajan is a doubtful starter niggling with injury and Captain Kohli who is always a stickler with fitness regimen, Shardul Thakur will make a cut into the XI with his hard hitting with the bat and the fully fit Bhuvanesh kumar and Saini will form the pace bowling and  spinnersChahal and Washington Sundar will complete the bowling unit.

England Captain Morgan gets his best team with no selection blues.  Even the garrulous Michael Vaughan in a pre-match analysis made this point saying that Morgan always gets his best playing XI unlike his counterpart in Tests,  Joe Root.  So, Morgan will go for his well set team which won recently with Pakistan.  With Jason Roy to open Jos Buttler  with Jonny Bairstrow ( who had a horrible outing in the Test series in India) and the in-form  Dawid Malan, (who was recently chosen for the IPL team auction for 4.5 crores) and Morgan himself the batting unit is well settled with  Ben Stokes and Jordan the two all rounders in the ranks.  Jofra Archer  with niggle in his thighs may be sidelined and Mark Wood in all likelihood spearhead the pace bowling attack with Sam curran.  And with the return of Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid the spinning unit may pose problems for Indians.

Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a pulsating T20 series at Motera stadium. 

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