AHMEDABAD: England won the toss and opted to field first against India in the opening T20I of the five-match series here at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday. In a surprise move, India skipper Virat Kohli announced that Rohit Sharma will be resting in the first few games.
India will be high on confidence as they earlier defeated England in the four-match Test series 3-1. The series will also serve as great preparation for both sides, given the ICC T20 World Cup is scheduled to be played later this year.
Speaking at the toss, Eoin Morgan said: “We’re going to have a bowl. Looks a good wicket with a covering of grass. A little bit of dew later on. Going to be an evenly-poised contest. The opportunity to play in India against a very strong side with the World Cup later this year, we’re really excited. The key is to evolve in our game. Five T20Is at this ground, it’s going to turn at some stage and we have to be smarter. That’s one aspect of our game that we’re trying to evolve.”
Kohli said India would have also bowled first. “Probably would have bowled first as well. Dew is going to be a massive factor in the second half. Got to get into the game with the ball and restrict them to a chaseable score. We were planning to do things like batting first in these conditions where bowling in the dew becomes a factor. It’s a good way to prepare for the World Cup. The next few months will be important from a team environment. Rohit is resting for the first couple of games,” he said.
Earlier in the day, Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) had announced that it has decided to use only 50 per cent capacity of the Narendra Modi Stadium. All the COVID-19 related precautions have been taken and all standard operating procedures (SOPs) are being followed.
“We are going to use only 50% seating capacity at the Narendra Modi Stadium for all the T20 International matches to be played here due to COVID-19 pandemic. Up to 50 per cent tickets will be issued on the online and offline ticketing platforms for these matches,” said Dhanraj Nathwani, Vice President, Gujarat Cricket Association.
India playing XI: KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(w), Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal.
England playing XI: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler(w), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood. (ANI)