Cricket Live Streaming: India vs England 1st T20 Match 2012
India and England will be set to renew their fledgling rivalry when both collide in the opening T20I of the two-match series, played at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium, Pune, today, December 20, 2012.
The hosts may have succumbed to their first bilateral Test series defeat in eight years, but will be hoping that a change in format will bring a change in fortune. They were indeed given a rude awakening but barely have the time to dwell on it as most of the players now need to gear themselves up for the T20 bouts.
In the limelight will be one Mahendra Singh Dhoni. With Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag sitting out the bouts, he will again be the leading figure for most of the younger players, all of whom tend to thrive under his captaincy.
However, the problem for Indian cricket is that for now every man is on his own. Dhoni is under fire, Gautam Gambhir’s performances will be keenly observed, and the likes of Rohit Sharma, Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina are by no means indispensable to the T20 group. Moreover, there is mounting pressure on Ravichandran Ashwin to prove his mettle with the ball.
Good performances from all of them will indeed boost their confidence, but even that cannot be the permanent solution, given the fact that India has also performed poorly at the international T20 level in recent times, which includes a disappointing World T20 campaign.
Dhoni said that there is nothing to carry forward from the Test series as it is totally a different format. However, a victory is the only option left for his side.
With Sehwag out, Gambhir is likely to be partnered by Ajinkya Rahane, while the team is likely to revert back to a two-man pace attack, which could include Ashok Dinda and debutant Parwinder Awana.
England are certainly riding high from their miraculous Test series triumph, and will be aiming to end the first part of the tour by showing similar progress at the T20 front. However, injuries have indeed become a nuisance for both parties, which will see force England to field a relatively inexperienced side, headed by Eoin Morgan.
Morgan was named the stand-in-skipper after Stuart Broad failed to recover from his heel injury. That has clearly upset the balance of the team, but given their achievements of-late, it hardly upsets the mood in the camp.
Tim Bresnan, Stuart Meaker and Jade Dernbach will be three pace options likely to be included, while Samit Patel and James Tredwell will carry on the spin duties. The inexperience in the batting lineup is what the Indians will be looking to exploit however, a good showing from the likes of Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow will certainly put them on the IPL radar as well.
This will be the first international game staged at the Sahara Stadium, so it will be interesting to see how the pitch performs. One expects it to spin though.