India and England will resume battle again on Friday morning, but this time in a different format. Both teams will be looking to finalise their line-ups for the T20 World Cup later this year. To do this they decided to battle in a five-match series to be played at Ahmedabad. Both sides are amongst the favourites for the World Cup later this year, but how close are both teams to knowing their best line-up?
Both teams are blessed with incredible top-order talent. For India, they have two of the greats of white-ball cricket in Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli at one and three respectively. The other opener alongside Sharma is likely to be KL Rahul. Rahul has arguably been the best T20 batsman in the world for the last year and a half. However, Sharma’s long-term partner has been Shikar Dhawan. He has recently returned to form and will be gunning to get his place back.
As for England, they seem pretty settled in their top six. We will likely see a top three of Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, and world number one batsman Dawid Malan. Before the World Cup, the likes of Tom Banton, Joe Root, and the discarded Alex Hales will be looking to break into the top order. However, that seems unlikely.
England is much more settled in its middle order than India. They have the likes of Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes, and Moeen Ali in their engine room.
India on the other hand has slightly more questions. Since the 2019 ODI World Cup, Shreyas Iyer has made the number four position his own. However, he will have competition from Mumbai Indians pair Surykumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. If you look outside of the current squad, the likes of Manish Pandey and Sanju Samson will also be pushing for a place in the team.
At number five, the back in form Rishabh Pant is expected to take the gloves back from KL Rahul. The remaining middle-order is likely to include Hardik Pandya and Washington Sundar at six and seven.
It is possible that KL Rahul could be asked to bat at four to accommodate Shikhar Dhawan at the top of the order…