Rohit Sharma not playing: The Indian white-ball vice-captain won’t be taking the field at the Narendra Modi Stadium tonight.
During the first T20I of the ongoing England’s tour of India in Ahmedabad, England captain Eoin Morgan has won the toss and chose to field to prevent themselves from bowling under dew.
“We’re going to have a bowl. Looks a good wicket with a covering of grass. A little bit of dew later on. Going to be an evenly-poised contest. The opportunity to play in India against a very strong side with the World Cup later this year, we’re really excited. The key is to evolve in our game,” Morgan told Star Sports at the toss.
As far as their Playing XI is concerned, England have included as many as five fast bowling options namely Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Chris Jordan, Sam Curran and Ben Stokes. Leg-spinner Adil Rashid remains their solitary spin-bowling option for this match at the Narendra Modi Stadium.
Not a bad toss to lose from team’s preparation point of view. Setting big totals to take care of the dew factor – the genuine big challenge ahead of the World Cup. Shardul at 10 gives enough depth … Looking forward to some blitz .. #IndvEng
— Jatin Sapru (@jatinsapru) March 12, 2021
Why is Rohit Sharma not playing today’s 1st T20I between India and England?
Much like Morgan, India captain Virat Kohli also wanted to field first. Having said that, Kohli didn’t shy away from accepting that bowling under dew is another skill they want to add to their arsenal ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
“Probably would have bowled first as well. Dew is going to be a massive factor in the second half. Got to get into the game with the ball and restrict them. We were planning to do things like batting first in these conditions where bowling in the dew becomes a factor. It’s a good way to prepare for the World Cup,” Kohli told Star Sports.
Kohli, who had announced yesterday that Rohit Sharma and Lokesh Rahul are their first-choice T20I opening batsmen, surprised one and all by resting Sharma today. It is worth mentioning that Sharma won’t be playing the second match as well as India have decided to give more opportunities to Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order.
“Rohit [Sharma] is resting for the first couple of games,” Kohli said. Talking about India’s Playing XI for this match, the hosts have made three changes from the team which played the third T20I in Sydney last year.
Wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant, all-rounder Axar Patel and fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar have replaced the likes of batsman Sanju Samson and the fast bowling pair of Deepak Chahar and T. Natarajan.
Pant, who had last played a T20I more than a year ago against Sri Lanka in Indore, is reaping fruits of stellar performances in Test matches. While Bhuvneshwar is playing a T20I after more than 15 months, Patel will represent India in the shortest format after more than three years.