England vs India, T20Is: Here are the key player battles
England and India are set to lock horns in the first of the three-match T20I series at The Rose Bowl, Southampton, on July 7. Rohit Sharma would lead the second-string Indian side in the series opener before the seniors join for the next two games. On the other hand, England will have the services of several international stars. Here are the key player battles.
Rohit Sharma and his vulnerability against left-arm seamers requires no introduction. His dismissal against Pakistan (Shaheen Afridi) in the 2021 T20 World Cup is a testimony to this. Against England, Rohit will be tested by both Sam Curran and David Willey. Curran has the ability to bring the ball in across formats. Interestingly, left-arm seamers have dismissed Rohit 40 times in T20 cricket.
Jos Buttler had a stellar season in the 2022 Indian Premier League (IPL) with Rajasthan Royals. He bagged the Orange Cap, having smashed a mammoth 863 runs. His compatriot Yuzvendra Chahal claimed the Purple Cap, taking a record-breaking 27 wickets. Chahal and Buttler will be at loggerheads this time. While Buttler has smashed Chahal for 82 (58), the latter has dismissed Buttler twice (T20s).
Indian all-rounder Hardik Pandya has been in full flow while batting. However, he is no longer a specialist batter as he has been bowling his full quote of overs in T20I cricket. For England, spin-bowling all-rounder Moeen Ali plays this role. Pandya has dismissed Ali once in the space of 11 deliveries (T20s). The latter has struck at just 81.81 against Pandya.
Chris Jordan is expected to lead England's pace attack in the first T20I. Although the right-arm seamer is England's leading wicket-taker in the format, he can be a touch expensive. Interestingly, Indian middle-order batter Suryakumar Yadav has struck at a staggering 190.90 against Jordan in T20I cricket. Meanwhile, Jordan is yet to dismiss the former in the format.
India will have an uphill task to stop hard-hitter Liam Livingstone throughout the T20I series. The right-handed batter has a strike rate of 159.47 from 28 T20s this year. He has smashed as many as 48 sixes as of now. His strike rate drops to 126.73 against left-arm spinners (2022). India could use spinner Axar Patel to minimize the Livingstone assault.