The second T20I between India and England can be the series-deciding match after India’s comprehensive win in the first encounter.
If Virat Kohli’s statements are to be believed, a couple of changes are expected as the team wants to be flexible with the lineup.
Here is India’s probable playing XI for the 2nd T20I against England at Manchester:
Although Shikhar Dhawan was dismissed early in the first T20I, he starred with an explosive 74-run knock in the 1st match against Ireland. Dhawan had a great run of form in IPL where he started the innings for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Although he did not have a breakout season, he played some really good knocks.
Dhawan looked in fine touch in the one-off Test against Afghanistan played from the 14th of June at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore. Dhawan slammed a century in the first session of the first day of the match, becoming the first Indian to do so.
Rohit Sharma opened along with regular partner Shikhar Dhwan. Although, he got a thirty, Rohit didi not look in full flow. However, he started the proceedings for India in the 1st T20I against Ireland and missed out his century by just 3 runs. Rohit had a very bad IPL season and the Mumbaikar was not timing the ball at all.
Before the UK tour, there was a lot of controversy surrounding his selection in the team as he was not available for the decided date of the Yo-Yo test. However, after much delay he finally appeared for the test and passed it. This helped him to straight away board the flight for the UK tour.
KL Rahul’s unbeaten 100 at No 3 in the first T20I was a treat to watch. Scoring runs is one thing but scoring them in the manner in which KL Rahul is scoring those runs these days is something extraordinary. Rahul is certainly in a league of his own as far as the T20 matches are concerned.
He is scoring consistently and in his own style without playing a single rash shot. Rahul has been able to maintain his strike rate and impress the entire cricketing fraternity.
Virat Kohli vacated his No 3 spot for KL Rahul in the first match and has been moving up and down the order in the T20Is. Although he has not been able to perform for the tam, the Indian Captain is just one good performance away from getting back.
In the recent times, he has shown a tendency to bat at the top of the order but many believe that his game is most suited at one down. At the same time, he will try to accelerate with his typical controlled aggression.
Suresh Raina/Dinesh Karthik
Suresh Raina did not get a chance to bat in the first T20I. Raina was back to scoring ways with a classy half century in the 2nd T20I. Raina had made a comeback to the team in the series against South Africa. He did not perform exceedingly well but he has done enough to maintain a place in the team.
Being a left hander and having lots of experience are the two things that go in his favour. He may be promoted up the order to give an impetus to the side.
Remember the last time Dinesh Karthik played in a T20I for India, it was the Nidahas trophy final and he finished the game with a match-winning six.
Karthik has been stellar in the IPL as well. It was very unfortunate that Karthik got run out in the Test match against Afghanistan but he presents a very strong case for selection in the team. Karthik can be instrumental for the balance of the side.
WICKET-KEEPER AND ALL-ROUNDER
MS Dhoni would be an automatic selection for the team. He would take his place behind the stumps and also assume his role of a finisher.
Dhoni has shown signs of coming back to his explosive best in the IPL and if he can carry forward that form, it would be great for India.
Hardik Pandya performed well both with bat and ball in the T20I series. He is Virat Kohli’s favourite and would get a chance in the playing XI as a bowling all-rounder. If Pandya can give the team some economical overs and can come in the lower order to propel the score of the team, he would have done his job.
Umesh bowled economically in the first T20I and also picked up 2 wickets. He is expected to retain his spot.
Umesh Yadav who had an exciting IPL and performed well in the one-off Test against Afghanistan as well, may get a game in Bumrah’s absence. Siddarth Kaul can also be played but Umesh’s chances look brighter.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Siddarth Kaul
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a champion of swing bowling. In conditions that assist him, he would be a very lethal weapon.
He would take the new ball for India and try to nick a few off. He is equally good at the death as well with his knuckle balls and slower ones.
However, Bhuvi looked a bit out of sorts at Cardiff. The team management may consider giving Siddarth Kaul a nod in his place. Kaul has pace and can also give two economical overs at the death. No doubt, Bhuvi is a great bowler but sometimes a rest can also do wonders.
Yuzvendra Chahal is a crafty leg spinner and mixes his googlies and topspin as well along with the leg spin. He is not afraid of flighting the ball.
Chahal becomes all the more dangerous when the batsmen try to go after him. Chahal not only bowls economically but also gives the much required breakthroughs in the middle overs.
Kuldeep Yadav has been a revelation in international cricket in the recent times. Even the best of the batsmen have not been able to pick them up and have struggled against their variations. Kuldeep was at his best at Manchester as he bamboozled the English batsman.
In a first of its kind, Kuldeep picked up a fifer – the first left arm wrist spinner and the first spinner in England to do so. He also received the Man of the Match for his awe-inspiring performance.