Southampton: The heartbroken Test loss at Edgbaston must be pinching the Indian players. The focus has now shifted from the longest to the shortest format of the game as India lock horns with England at the Rose Bowl, Southampton, in the first T20I.
The series is important for both sides as the T-20 World Cup is looming. Fortunately, regular skipper Rohit Sharma is back in the squad after a COVID infection. Jasprit Bumrah captioned the team in the fifth Test against England in the rescheduled series at Edgbaston.
From the second match, senior players like Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant and Virat Kohli will be available. All the players, especially the youngsters, are gearing up to catch the eyes of the selectors to be part of the World Cup team.
Despite being left out of the group stage of the last T20 World Cup in 2021, the team has performed admirably in T20I cricket since then. In spite of losing two matches against the formidable South African side, India came back strongly and defeated the visitors in the next two matches, levelling the series in the absence of several senior players. Unfortunately, the last match was washed out.
It is a daunting task for any visiting side to beat the hosts on their turf. Jos Buttler, whose fabulous battling in the IPL 2022 season won the hearts of cricket fans, is leading the English side. Several T20 specialists have taken their places in the English camp.
Rohit eyes on T20 World Cup
The India skipper has taken charge of the team and joined the practise session after recovering from a COVID infection. He also stated that the three-match T20 series against England will provide an excellent opportunity for his team to assess their position ahead of the upcoming T20 World Cup. We want to do our job perfectly in this series as well, “Rohit said.
Rohit said that pace sensation Umran Malik, who made his T20I debut against Ireland recently, is in their scheme of things. “Umran is very much in our plans.” Right now, we are trying to give him an understanding of what his role would be and what the team requires from him. “We have to see where we can bowl him,” Rohit said.
Rohit called Umran an exciting prospect for the Indian side. It is crucial for the team management to know how to use the 22-year-old pacer appropriately.
The first T20 is set to be an exciting match, which will start at 22:30 IST.