India and England are gearing up for the 3-match T20I series which will begin with the opening game at the Rose Bowl Cricket Ground in Southampton on July 7. Rohit Sharma will come back from COVID-19-induced isolation and lead India, while England will begin a new era under skipper Jos Buttler.
India will be looking to bounce back after losing the rescheduled fifth Test at Edgbaston against the hosts. The Rose Bowl pitch is known for high-scoring encounters. The flat surface will hardly provide any assistance to the bowlers.
With Kohli expected to be back at number three from game two, Deepak Hooda will be aiming for another match-winning effort to keep himself in the mix. With a century and 47 not out against Ireland, Hooda has certainly made it tougher for the team management to keep him out of the eleven.
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The uncapped duo of Rahul Tripathi and Arshdeep Singh have not been included for the second and third T20 and it is unlikely they will get a look in on Thursday. Suryakumar Yadav, who made a comeback from injury against Ireland, could not get going in the games in Malahide and will be backing himself to get back to his innovative best. He and Hooda were amongst the runners in the warm-up against Derbyshire last week.
In the bowling department, pacer Umran Malik will be brimming with confidence after defending 17 runs in the last over of a high-scoring second T20 against Ireland. However, he remains a work in progress and needs to improve on his accuracy.
Southampton Weather Forecast (Accu Weather Screen grab)
The pacers, including the seasoned Bhuvneshwar Kumar and wily Harshal Patel were stunned by the Irish attack and against tougher opposition, they will have to be at their best. Yuzvendra Chahal will be expected to replace Ravi Bishnoi in the playing eleven.
SOUTHAMPTON WEATHER FORECAST
According to Accu Weather, the first T20I between India and England will not face any rain threat as the Southampton weather is expected to be cloudy on July 7. The temperature will hover between 12-25 degrees Celsius during the day. The wind speed can go around 11 km/h.
PREDICTED PLAYING XIs:
India: Rohit Sharma (Captain), Ishan Kishan, Sanju Samson, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Deepak Hooda, Dinesh Karthik, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Harshal Patel, Yuzvendra Chahal, Avesh Khan.
England: Jos Buttler (Captain), Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Liam Livingstone, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, David Willey, Reece Topley, Tymal Mills, Matthew Parkinson.
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