Team India have had some good memories in the recent past at Edgbaston © Getty Images

By Nishad Pai Vaidya

Sep 6, 2014

Through the One-Day International (ODI) series, there has been a lot of talk about England’s approach to one-day cricket. But, when it comes to Twenty 20 (T20) cricket, they seem to have the right personnel in place, with a unit that can beat the best on their day. With the consolation win in the last ODI, England would thus go into the only T20 International a lot more confident. India would eye a good finish to this tour with a victory in the T20.

The teams move back to Edgbaston, Birmingham, where India have some good memories in the recent past. They sealed the ODI series with Ajinkya Rahane smashing a century. Last year, they beat England in the final of the ICC Champions Trophy, in a rain-reduced 20-overs a side game. And, with the huge population of Indian origin people in the region, one would expect the Indians to feel at home given the support they would get.

It would be interesting to see what side MS Dhoni fields on the day. It would be India’s first T20I since the ICC World T20 2014 final earlier this year. From the eleven that played on that day, there would be a few changes. Yuvraj Singh and Amit Mishra aren’t a part of the squad. Plus, Rohit Sharma is out injured. Mohit Sharma’s availability is also doubtful for this encounter.

Ajinkya Rahane should open the batting with Shikhar Dhawan with Virat Kohli coming in at No 3. Ambati Rayudu may hold on to his spot in the middle with Suresh Raina at No 5. Dhoni and Ravindra Jadeja would complete the batting line-up. Ravichandran Ashwin will also be a certainty. Then, come the fast bowlers with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami and in all likelihood, Umesh Yadav taking the third seamer’s spot.

Sanju Samson and Karn Sharma are waiting in the wings as they did not get a game during the ODI series. If Dhoni wants a breather, Sanju can come in his place as a wicketkeeper batsman. Or, they may consider playing him instead of Rayudu, who hasn’t been in India’s T20 plans off late. Karn may find it difficult to break in with Jadeja and Ashwin in the side. Unless India decide to give either a break, Karn may have to sit out.

England have had a few injury scares in the lead-up to this T20. Tim Bresnan has been ruled out of this game. Jason Roy had an injury while batting in the nets last week, but he seems to have recovered to join the England side. Ravi Bopara also comes back after being left out of the ODI side. And there is also the young James Taylor, who is waiting for more opportunities at the highest level. Most of the members of the ODI squad remain in the mix for this game.

Hales should open the batting with Roy. The middle order should comprise Moeen Ali, Ravi Bopara, Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler. James Tredwell, the off-spinner and the pacers, Steven Finn and Chris Woakes would form the crux of the bowling attack. England would then choose whether they want to play an extra batsman in Taylor or get in Chris Jordan as the all-rounder to give more balance. Joe Root is in the side, and although he scored a ton in the last game, they should go for more power players.

In a T20 game, especially a solitary encounter such as this one, it is tough to call a side favourites given the unpredictability. It will be an even handed encounter with England bringing in those specialists.


England: Eoin Morgan (c), Alex Hales, Jason Roy, James Taylor, Joe Root, Moeen Ali, Ravi Bopara, Jos Buttler (wk), James Tredwell, Chris Woakes, Chris Jordan, Steven Finn, Harry Gurney.

India: MS Dhoni (c and wk), Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Ambati Rayudu, Sanju Samson (wk), Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Karn Sharma, Dhawal Kulkarni, Umesh Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Mohammed Shami, Mohit Sharma, Stuart Binny.

Time: 19:30 IST | 14:00 GMT

Complete coverage of India’s tour to England here

(Nishad Pai Vaidya is a Correspondent with CricketCountry and anchor for the site’s YouTube Channel. His Twitter handle is @nishad_44)