A dominant start to the series has set the tone for India as they look to ensure to keep the England team on the back-foot with their spin bowling when both the teams meet for the second T20I on Friday.
Cricket news: A whitewash would definitely improve India’s ICC T20I ranking
The Men in Blue handed the England team a crushing eight-wicket defeat in Manchester in the first match, thanks to 5-24 bowling display from Kuldeep Yadav and an unbeaten century from KL Rahul.
Virat Kohli and Co. will try to seal the three-match series when they face the England side for the second match on Friday.
If they achieve that feat, they would have a sixth successive T20I series win, a record which they would have stretched back over the 2-1 win against New Zealand in November 2017 at home. In fact the team is unbeaten since last year September when it comes to bilateral T20I series.
A 2-1 series win would close the gap with Australia in terms of ICC Rankings, while a whitewash would help them to overleap Australia and stay behind the top-ranked Pakistan.
Australia, who are currently playing Zimbabwe in an ongoing tri-series, should win in the next two games to stay ahead of India.
If England losses the match on Friday, they would drop down to the seventh position below New Zealand, South Africa and West Indies respectively.
But England’s main concern is how to face Kuldeep Yadav’s unorthodox wrist spin. Captain Eoin Morgan and ace batsman Jos Butler have urged his teammates to remain patient on the crease.
To tackle the problem they have introduced ‘Merlyn’, a spin-bowling machine which can replicate any type of delivery. The machine was last used ahead of 2005 Ashes to counter bowling of Shane Warne.
The key reason for the first match defeat was the successive wickets of Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root. However the English batsmen are quite good while facing the pace bowling, as a result the pair of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav were proven ineffective.
The visitors would probably not effect a change in the side which means the pacers need to adapt to the situations.
India might opt for spinner Krunal Pandya to cause more trouble for the English batsmen, but making a space for him might be a problem. Rather the management might back Yuzvendra Chahal to bowl the initial spin overs.
Weather would play an important role in the match as patches of rain was seen in Cardiff on Wednesday. England’s pacer Tom Curran has been ruled out for the reminder of the limited over series and is replaced by his brother Sam.