Manchester: The much-awaited tour of India kicks off, as Team India locks horns with in-form England in the first of the three-match Twenty20 International series today at Manchester. The count down for World Cup 2019 has already begun and skipper Virat Kohli would like to test team’s bench keeping eye on this up coming mega cricket event. On Monday Kohli hinted at trying different combination in T-20 and ODI series which also comprises three games.
Kohli said, "Big tournament is coming. This tour gives us the opportunity to try our bench strength. We will definitely try many players in T-20 series. We will give chances to more players in ODI series too."
However, any visiting team likes to kick off the tour on a winning note and that’s what Kohli and team management would like to do. Kohli would like to once again try Rohit Sharma as Shikhar Dhawan opening partner despite not too impressive IPL performance. Suresh Raina a very impressive record in England so he comes in playing XI automatically. K.L. Rahul may too find himself in playing XI and Dhoni, along with All-rounder Hardik Pandya will provide middle order some more teeth.
Spinners usually don’r get much help in wet English condition but since it has not rained for few days here that means dry pitch which makes playing XI route easier for leg spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal. Now that death bowling expert Jasprit Bumrah out due to injury sustained during Ireland tour,experienced though at times expensive, Umesh Yadav will share new ball with Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Hardik Pandya could also chip in with few overs.
Kohli admitted he understood England would "come hard", but felt the vastly experienced Indians had enough know-how to challenge England in the limited-overs leg. Later on, he would go on to throw the challenge to England who, he reminded, had lost in all three formats during their 2016-17 tour of India"Playing against a good team in their conditions and at their home, to get the opportunity to be able to beat them in their home conditions, it is a point of excitement for us and not pressure," Kohli said. "Because when they came to India last time, we won the series and the trophy is with us, and now they are on home soil and they need to play well to win it back. We will play fearless cricket and literally, we have nothing to lose.". India Playing XI: Virat Kohli (captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, Lokesh Rahul, Suresh Raina, M.S. Dhoni, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya, Umesh Yadav.
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Author - Amit Singh