Eoin Morgan made the first big call of the night in his 100th T20I
Toss England chose to bowl vs India
Eoin Morgan made the first big call of the night in his 100th T20I, as he chose to bowl in the third T20I.
With the series locked at 1-1, after a pair of comprehensive victories for each of the chasing teams in the first two games, Virat Kohli admitted he would also have preferred the chance to field first before the dew sets in in the evening, but acknowledged that the chance for his new-look line-up to get aggressive from the outset would be an important part of their preparation in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup in October.
Both sides made a solitary change to the line-up on Sunday. England resisted the temptation to return Moeen Ali to their starting XI, with Mark Wood passed fit after sustaining a bruised ankle in the opening fixture and trusted to resume the 90mph aggression with which he gave India’s batsmen the hurry-up in England’s eight-wicket series-opening win. Tom Curran, who endured a chastening return for the second game, returned to the bench.
For India, Rohit Sharma was back at the top of the order, following a break for the opening two games, and he resumed his partnership with KL Rahul, who was retained despite a six-ball duck on Sunday. The man of the moment, Ishan Kishan, will slot in at No.3, following his power-packed debut. His Mumbai Indians team-mate, Suryakumar Yadav, who also made his debut in the second game, made way after being an unused batsman in that match.
This contest will take place on a red-soil surface, as opposed to the black soil used for the first two fixtures, which tends to be a drier loam and offers more bounce for the spinners.
“The wicket looks good, with a covering of grass, a bit of soil, and a short boundary on one side, and it’s a bit more humid,” Morgan said at the toss. “Whoever plays best has won the game.”
“I would have chosen to bowl first but you have to embrace what you do, even when you lose the toss,” Kohli added.
After a crowd of more than 66,000 turned out for Sunday’s fixture, this match will be played behind closed doors, following a spike in Covid-19 cases in Gujarat, which is a disappointment for the combatants on both sides – England’s Jason Roy admitted on Monday that playing in front of fans is a key source of adrenalin for professional sportsmen.
“It is a challenge for us today,” Kohli added. “It’s good that the series is poised at 1-1, England will come out hard. Crowds add to the emotion and passion of the environment, but we have to be professional.”
India 1 Rohit Sharma, 2 KL Rahul, 3 Ishan Kishan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Rishabh Pant (wk), 5 Shreyas Iyer, 6, 7 Hardik Pandya, 8 Washington Sundar, 9 Shardul Thakur, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal
England 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jos Buttler (wk), 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Jonny Bairstow, 5 Eoin Morgan (capt), 6 Ben Stokes, 7 Sam Curran, 8 Chris Jordan, 9 Jofra Archer, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Mark Wood
Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. He tweets at @miller_cricket