Tomorrow’s 3rd T20 between India and England will be the first international match that the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, which had its outfield relaid completely in June-July 2016, plays host to after last year’s epic T20I between India and Bangladesh in the ICC World Twenty20 (WT20) 2016. MS Dhoni‘s presence of mind and agility to get to the stumps and affect a run-out on the last ball and thereby help India win the match, will be fresh in the minds of people for a long time.
Bangladesh squandered a golden opportunity to dump the host nation out of the biennial tournament: careless shots from Mahmudullah and Mushfiqur Rahim on the penultimate and anti-penultimate deliveries, respectively, when the Bangla tigers needed only two runs off three balls, proved very, very costly. India won this match by one run and set up a virtual quarter-final clash with Australia at the IS Bindra Stadium in Mohali.
India successfully defended 146/7 at a venue where captains seldom feel secure of totals even north of 200, particularly in IPL matches. The pitch for the India v Bangladesh WT20 fixture was on the slower side and the spinners from both teams were tough to get away. The slowish pitch meant that the batsmen couldn’t exploit the relatively small ground the Chinnaswamy Stadium is.
As always, the nature of the Bangalore pitch will dictate the playing XI India, and possibly England too, go in with for tomorrow’s 3rd T20.
But here is Cricfooty’s suggested playing XI for India, with the series level 1-1.
Indian Playing XI for 3rd T20 vs England
Lokesh Rahul and Jasprit Bumrah came good in the Nagpur T20I after failing to make substantial contributions in their respective trades in the four previous limited-overs matches against England.
KL Rahul is one of the five Indian players—captain Virat Kohli, Yuzvendra Chahal, Manish Pandey, and Mandeep Singh being the other four—who are heading to their first and second home as players of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) or Karnataka.
From India’s perspective, Rahul needs to deliver the goods again after his 47-ball 71 in the second T20I. Jasprit Bumrah, who made his IPL debut for Mumbai Indians (MI) at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in IPL 2013, will have to produce another good bowling performance too, albeit his spell of 4-0-20-2 and the quality of his final over, from which 8 runs were required for England to win the Nagpur T20I and the series, will be hard to top.
3rd ODI: 6 runs required off 4 balls, the bowler comes up trumps
2nd T20I: 8 runs required off 6, bowler comes up trumps again#INDvENG
— Suhith Kumar R.N (@suhithtweets_92) January 29, 2017
Not only did this duo’s performances contribute massively to India winning the 2nd T20I by five runs but the team management will also be relieved by the assuring performances of Rahul and Bumrah in Nagpur.
Even with Rahul getting back amongst the runs, India’s batting line-up does not look assured and England will certainly feel confident of restricting India to a smaller total again.
Although the trio of Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina and Dhoni haven’t done justice to their potential so far in this three-T20I series, Pandey is the only batsman in the middle order whose place in India’s playing XI for the 3rd T20 could be under threat. Pandey, batting at No. 6 and No. 5 in the first two T20Is against England, has walked into tough match situations that haven’t allowed him to play carefree cricket from the word go: he has had to be a little circumspect at the start, albeit the Karnataka batsman failed to get going for the entirety of his 26-ball innings in Nagpur.
Mandeep Singh and Rishabh Pant continue to wait in the wings and could be drafted into the side for the final T20I. But, considering that the Mandeep-Pant duo have played no cricket so far in this series, I’d stick with Pandey for the series-deciding Bangalore T20I against England.
Which then brings us to all-rounders and bowlers.
India played two leg-spinners last Sunday, as Amit Mishra came in for Parvez Rasool, who was harshly dropped after just one match. Ashish Nehra and Bumrah didn’t enjoy great outings with the ball when India beat Bangladesh in the World T20 here last year and they will be looking to carry over their performances from the 2nd T20I into the 3rd T20 tomorrow.
If I was a part of the team management, I will bring in a seamer for Mishra, who didn’t bowl badly in Nagpur, but seemed short on confidence and he was wary of the England batsmen taking him on and therefore bowled a lot flatter. Considering the size of the M Chinnaswamy Stadium, where even mis-hits can comfortably clear the boundary ropes, I will play Bhuvneshwar Kumar in place of the Haryana leg-spinner. The UP seamer is a bowler reborn and can be relied upon against a long English batting line-up replete with big hitters.
Hardik Pandya is another automatic choice in the Indian playing XI.
India’s playing XI for the 3rd T20 in full: Virat Kohli*, KL Rahul, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Manish Pandey, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Jasprit Bumrah, and Ashish Nehra.
Actual Indian playing XI for the 3rd T20: Virat Kohli*, Rishabh Pant (Manish Pandey), Lokesh Rahul, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Amit Mishra, Ashish Nehra, and Jasprit Bumrah.
India vs England 3rd T20 toss: Eoin Morgan has whitewashed Kohli as far as the toss in this T20I series is concerned and unsurprisingly, chosen to bowl first.