England vs India - First T20 International
Friday March 12th, 2021 / 9:30am EST
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England will face India in the first match of their T20 series on Friday March 12th, 2021. The match is scheduled to start at 9:30am EST and will be played in Ahmedabad. The weather is expected to be good and the pitch to favor the batsmen. This will be a very important series with the T20 World Cup just around the corner and both teams will be highly motivated here.
England will be extremely eager to get off to a strong start here in the T20 series and to avenge their crushing defeats in the recently concluded test series. It will be very interesting to see how they have mentally recovered from those huge losses and if they have adequately regrouped to compete here. They have named a full-strength squad for this series and world-class players such as Jos Buttler, Jason Roy and David Malan have come in to strengthen the batting. They will be hugely important here as batting is one area in which England has struggled thus far in India, and all three of them are highly experienced on the sub-continent due to their IPL exploits. Their achilles heel is likely to be their bowling, with star bowler Jofra Archer likely to miss out on the first few matches due to injury. England is the world's top-ranked T20 side and despite losing the test series, enter the T20 series as the favorites.
Like England, India has a star-studded batting lineup and will be looking to superstars Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma to lead from the front. The recent exploits of Rishab Pant have thrust him into the spotlight and he will be eager to continue his fantastic form from the Test Series. Another similarity with England is that their bowling attack will not be at full-strength with Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami unavailable for selection. However, after how the test series went it is likely that India will load up with spinners in the hope that they are able to dominate as they have been so far.
This is setting up to be a very exciting series, and I do not think that it will be as one-sided as the test series was. England is a much better team in T20's than they are in tests and are ranked #1 in the world for a reason and will be highly motivated to bounce back after the tests. While England are the slight favorites I see India winning this match. They have so much confidence and momentum at the moment and will be very dangerous here with their spin attack. Bank on a better performance from England but they will fall just short here.