England vs India, 2nd T20I
Kuldeep Yadav seemed effortless while spinning his back-of-the-hand web around the England core, effectively killing the game by the innings break in Manchester. So England have now reached out to ‘Merlyn’, the next best option to having an actual left-arm wrist spinner bowl at the players in the nets. Merlyn comes equipped with the ability to bowl any kind of delivery based on the data fed into it, but there’s only so far technology can go. The morning sessions on Thursday would’ve given England’s batting core a chance to tune their minds to the task of facing a bowler like Kuldeep, but would’ve seldom equipped them to read him from the hand – which is quintessential for being able to nullify his variations. England also had their bowling consultant on a 100 days-a-year contract – Saqlain Mushtaq – watch over the net session where the spinners bowled.
Expectedly, Chris Jordan was at the receiving end of a myriad of questions about the impact that the Indian spinners had in the first game. The fast bowler quashed the notion of an inherent weakness against turn and pointed out that England have a better record against spin since 2015 that most team. The most interesting opinion during the course of the interaction, however, was this: “If we still try to stay on the front foot as much as possible and keep putting pressure back on them [Indian spinners], I hope we’ll be okay,” he said.
Counterattacking a spinner who got under their skins in the first game is not the worst route to go down. In fact, it might have a disruptive effect on him. Yet, the dimensions at the SWALEC stadium in Cardiff should also have an impact on any such decisions. Largely, counterattacking against spin has seen batsmen target the square and backward square areas with sweeps and lap shots, but the length of the square boundary might come as a hindrance. The solution then, could be to play a lot straighter – like KL Rahul did on Wednesday – where the fence is short enough for most England batsmen to clear by quite a distance.
The only potential area of concern from the Old Trafford cakewalk for India was that Bhuvneshwar Kumar started the tour with an off day, when his erratic lengths were duly punished. His figures of 4 for 45, including a 20-run over, didn’t matter eventually, but in the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, India will hope to have their premier bowler at his peak.
When: July 6, 2018, 10 PM
Where: Sophia Gardens, Cardiff
Pitch Condition: Another sunny evening and a dry surface await the two teams. The average first-innings total at the venue is 145, which both these teams will look to surpass by a big margin.
Venue Stats T20:
|Matches won batting first||2|
|Matches won bowling first||2|
|Average 1st Inns scores||144|
|Average 2nd Inns scores||139|
|Highest total recorded||182/5 (20 Ov) by Eng vs Aus|
|Lowest total recorded||89/10 (18.4 Ov) by Pak vs Eng|
|Highest score chased||129/5 (17.1 Ov) by Eng vs Pak|
|Lowest score defended||182/5 (20 Ov) by Eng vs Aus|
Krunal Pandya spent sometime bowling in the nets, but India might look to retain the same winning line-up until the series is in the bag.
The hosts don’t quite have options to turn to from the bench.
India: Rohit Sharma, Shikhar Dhawan, Lokesh Rahul, Virat Kohli(c), MS Dhoni(w), Dinesh Karthik, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Krunal Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Suresh Raina, Shreyas Iyer, Kuldeep Yadav, Siddarth Kaul, Deepak Chahar.
England: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler(w), Joe Root, Eoin Morgan(c), Alex Hales, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, David Willey, Liam Plunkett, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Dawid Malan, Sam Curran, Jake Ball, Tom Curran.
Jos Buttler (w), Jason Roy, Joe Root, Alex Hales, Eoin Morgan (c), Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett/Jake Ball, David Willey, Chris Jordan.
Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Virat Kohli (c), MS Dhoni (w), Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Kuldeep Yadav.
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