India vs England, T20I at Nagpur; 29 January 2017 - Match Preview
England, a mediocre side as far as shorter formats of the game were considered till the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015; turned it around in a spectacular fashion as they underwent a total change in personnel and mindset after another disastrous campaign at another global event.
How close they ran a strong Indian side in the ODI's before dismantling them in the opening T20I is a testament to their success.
Jason Roy and Sam Billings gave them a whirlwind start in pursuit of a modest Indian total before a calm Root and aggressive Morgan killed it swiftly. That their best players in this format; Buttler & Stokes, weren't even required shows how much progress they have really made.
But credit must also go to their bowlers who restricted India to a below par total as they displayed variety and finesse. Tymal Mills bowled well over 90 kmph but had enough skill and courage to try slower balls which befuddled the Indians. Moeen Ali kept it tight in the middle overs while Jordan provided short ball therapy to the Indian batting line up.
India must look to get rid of KL Rahul; at least in the short term as he looks woefully short of form and with Rishabh Pant waiting eagerly in the wings this might be the perfect opportunity to blood him in.
Chahal was brilliant in the opening game but Nehra and Bumrah were all over the show in their opening spells giving width and pitching the ball either way too full or short. India might also want to consider bringing in the experience of Amit Mishra in place of Rasool who bowled quite a number of short balls in his debut game.
The second T20 match today in Nagpur is crucial for India as they look to keep the series alive and a loss today will severely dent their confidence going into a tough series against Australia.