Ahmedabad, March 17
India would aim to take the toss out of the equation and put up an improved all-round show against a formidable England in their bid to level the series in the fourth T20I here tomorrow. The template of win the toss and bowl has been set in the series with the chasing team getting home comfortably.
However, India skipper Virat Kohli has repeatedly stressed on the need to do well whether they are posting totals or chasing as part of their preparation for the T20 World Cup at home later this year. In the two games they lost after batting first, India struggled in the powerplay, which impacted their final total despite one batsman (Shreyas Iyer in first and Kohli in third) going on to make a significant contribution.
KL Rahul’s form is a concern but Kohli made it amply clear that the Karnataka batsman and Rohit Sharma remain their preferred opening combination.
“If you look at his stats in the last 2-3 years, they are probably better than anyone in T20. He will continue to be one of our main batters along with Rohit at the top of the order. We don’t have any concerns there,” said Kohli.
The express pace of Mark Wood and Jofra Archer has also made life tough for the Indians in the first six overs. They have been able to extract disconcerting bounce from the surface, putting the batsmen in two minds.
Going by Kohli’s words after the third game, a third all-rounder alongside Hardik Pandya and Washington Sundar can be drafted into the side with the choice between uncapped Rahul Tewatia and Axar Patel.
Unlike the first game, Kohli’s sublime 77 ensured India did have some runs to defend but the bowlers hardly troubled the opposition batsman with Jos Buttler running away with the contest. The team’s number one spinner Yuzvendra Chahal has leaked runs both times India have defended a target. — PTI