With the T20 World Cup right around the corner, this five-match T20I series between India and England could give us an inclination as to how two powerhouses of world cricket are preparing for this all-important tournament. India are looking to give chances to players who are in top form like Suryakumar Yadav, Ishan Kishan and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. They would look to stamp their authority in this series and ensure that they become mainstays in the upcoming World Cup team.
Here are three X-factor players from both sides who could be the game-changers in this T20I series.
SURYAKUMAR YADAV | INDIA
When Suryakumar Yadav missed out on making the trip to Australia earlier in the season, it created a storm of sorts as people couldn’t understand his non-selection from the squad. Surya had a remarkable Indian T20 League in 2020 and was a key player in Team Mumbai’s journey towards lifting their fifth trophy. To be fair to the Mumbai batsman, he went back to domestic cricket and kept piling on the runs. This is his maiden Indian call up and it couldn’t have come at a better time for Yadav. He is in the form of his life and there’s a middle-order spot in the T20 team that is begging to be grabbed and it might just become his after this series.
JOFRA ARCHER | ENGLAND
The MVP of the 2020 Indian T20 League, Jofra Archer would be charged up yet again when he’d have the white ball in his hands. He failed to impress in the Test series, but the best of Jofra Archer always comes out in this format of the game. He has plenty of experience of playing in Indian conditions and has done exceptionally well in the past. Captain Morgan would look at him to cause damage with the new ball up front and strangle the opposition in the death overs as well. Not to forget, he is more than handy with the bat as well and can strike some lusty blows.
RISHABH PANT | INDIA
The lockdown came at the perfect time for Rishabh Pant. Before that, he was going through a difficult time understanding his role in the Indian setup and the team management had sort of given up on the young wicketkeeper-batsman. He got a chance to rediscover his game in the lockdown period and worked tirelessly on improving his fitness standards. He now has emerged as the best wicketkeeper-batsman in Test cricket and is making a comeback in the white ball setup. This should be the perfect platform for Pant to explode again and exhibit the firepower he possesses in this format of the game as well.
ADIL RASHID | ENGLAND
Adil Rashid somehow doesn’t get the respect he deserves in white-ball cricket but his numbers would tell you that many people are sleeping on the leg spinner. In the last three years, Rashid has picked up 28 wickets in 24 matches at an average of 22.21 and a strike rate of 18.4. More importantly, his economy rate is also right up there with the very best at 7.23. He loves bowling to Virat Kohli and that could be a key battle to look out for in this five-match T20I series.
BHUVNESHWAR KUMAR | INDIA
Bhuvneshwar Kumar last played a T20I for India back in 2019. Since then he has been unlucky with injuries which also cut short his Indian T20 League 2020 campaign with Team Hyderabad. He is back to full fitness and has bowled well for his state team Uttar Pradesh in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy and the Vijay Hazare Trophy. In Jasprit Bumrah’s absence, Kumar would be the most experienced seamer in the squad and will have to deliver in the death overs for the team.
JASON ROY | ENGLAND
After that successful Cricket World Cup in 2019, Jason Roy has had a torrid time in white-ball cricket for England. He has looked a shadow of himself in both formats and with England selecting Liam Livingstone in their squad, the pressure is building on Roy to deliver. He’d have added motivation to do well as he went unsold in the recently concluded Indian T20 League auction and a dominating performance in the series would make him an ideal injury replacement for any franchise.
Read: White Ball Extravaganza Set To Begin As India and England Lock Horns In Five-Match T20I Series
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