India vs England T20I: A cracker in Cardiff tonight?
After a dominant victory in the first T20I at Manchester, Virat Kohli-led Team India eye three-match series win when both teams clash tonight
England captain Eoin Morgan was so frustrated with Team India's dominant performance in the first T20I and the blatant support the visitors received from the Indian fans in Manchester that he claimed it felt like an away game. Morgan would be hoping that things are more even when England take on India in the second T20I at Sophia Gardens ground tonight to keep the three-match T20I series alive.
Fickle weather at play
Of course, Cardiff is much cooler than London or Manchester. So, the England bowlers will be hoping not be taken to the cleaners again and a litter assistance from the pitch. From India's point of view, it is good that conditions may be a bit different, as the players can be put to the test early on the long tour. The T20I and ODI series have their own importance, but for Virat Kohli and Co, they are also an ideal preparation for the tough five-Test series that will be played in August and September.
"In T20 cricket, the wickets are going to be something that provide entertainment to the crowd, so no team has an advantage. I feel the team that plays well on that particular day has a better chance of winning. We now expect England to come hard at us. We certainly want to play positive and tough cricket. If we win crucial moments, anything can happen on the day. In T20 cricket, you don't have second chances, but we are pretty confident as a side," he said.
The Indian bowlers, especially wrist spinners, Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, had a good outing in Manchester, so they will have to be prepared for a backlash. On the batting front, with only the top four finishing off the job in Manchester, the middle order has yet to be tested. The sooner they get the opportunity, the better for future games. So eager was Kohli to spend some quality time in the middle that he took his own sweet time to complete the match in Manchester. India were so dominant that they could have finished it off inside 15 overs. But Kohli preferred to get the feel of things rather than lose his wicket to a reckless stroke.
Indian batsmen to the fore
It was a gem of a century from KL Rahul and he was well supported by Rohit Sharma. But as Shikhar Dhawan missed out, he too would be keen to get some runs under his belt. And so would Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni. With England itching to give it back to the Indians, and India, in top gear, one can expect a cracker of a game.
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