After both teams are level 1-1, the third T20I at the County Cricket Ground in Bristol between India and England will be the series-deciding match.
Given that the series is so evenly poised, too many changes in the playing XI are not expected.
Here is India’s probable playing XI for the 3rd T20I against England at Bristol:
Dhawan has failed to leave a mark in the first two T20Is. He starred with an explosive 74-run knock in the 1st match against Ireland but since then his bat has been quiet.
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.
In the first two matches of the England series, Rohit Sharma has opened along with regular partner Shikhar Dhwan. Although, he got a thirty in the first match, Rohit did 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.
Virat Kohli vacated his No 3 spot for KL Rahul in the first two matches and has been moving up and down the order in the T20Is. Although he has not been able to bring the best out of him, perform the Indian Captain is just a few steps away from a big one.
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.
KL Rahul’s unbeaten 100 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.
Krunal Pandya/Suresh Raina
Krunal Pandya has broken through in the Indian a squad after an impressive IPL. Initially Washington Sundar was in the squad but he was ruled out due to injury and the elder Pandya was named as his replacement. Paadya can be tried in place of Raina as he also gives you the sixth bowling option.
Suresh Raina did not get a chance to bat in the first T20I but played a useful cameo in the second game. Raina was back to scoring ways with a classy half century in the 2nd T20I against Ireland and has done enough to keep his place.
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.
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 has performed well both with bat and ball in the T20I series till now. 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 two T20I and also picked up a couple of 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 could have also be played but Umesh’s chances look brighter, especially after what he did in the last match.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar is a looking a bit out of sorts in the T20I series. Although he was economical in the last match, he could not pick up wickets. Bhuvi is a champion of swing bowling. In conditions that assist him, he would be a very lethal weapon.
Yuzvendra Chahal starred with the ball in the last match. 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 made an entry to the England series in grand style, picking up a fifer. He instantly became the most-discussed bowler in the England dressing room. After an impressive first match, he was not at his best at Cardiff.
The English batsmen played him well in the 2nd T20I. They fended him off initially and also played a couple of attacking shots. It would be a test of character for him as to how he bounces back from a rare failure.