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India hoping to regain pride in England T20s

Last updated on: December 19, 2012 19:05 IST

Dhoni will have to motivate his team



India need to put behind the humiliation of losing the Test rubber to England and regroup quickly when they take on the tourists in the first of two T20 Internationals in Pune on Thursday.

Under-fire after the first Test series loss to England in 28 years, and with his captaincy under the scanner, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will have to put these issues on the back burner and motivate his team-mates for the shortest format of the game.

To the home team's advantage, a younger lot of players -- some of who were not part of the Test series, like flamboyant all-rounder Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Ambati Rayudu - will give India the much-needed edge and enthusiasm.

All three are very good T20 players and should provide the extra zip and verve in the fielding department which was absent in the Tests.

All are playing in the Ranji Trophy for their respective units and are match fit too.

Incidentally Sharma, who is in good form with the bat in the Ranji Trophy, top-scored with an unbeaten 55 when the two teams last met in a T20 game, won by India by a whopping margin of 90 runs in Sri Lanka earlier this year during the ICC T20 World Cup.

Image: England captain Eoin Morgan (left) with India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni


Rahane will open the innings with Gambhir

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Yuvraj Singh, who flopped in the Test series, barring a fighting 74 in the opener at Ahmedabad, is back to the format in which he excelled in the past.

Dashing opener Virender Sehwag has opted out of the two-match series, which ends with the last match in Mumbai on December 22, and it has given Ajinkya Rahane, who warmed the bench right through the Test series, a chance to open the innings with Gautam Gambhir.

Rahane had impressed with a 61 when the two teams met in a T20 game last year in England at Manchester and will be eager to get going after playing Ranji Trophy games for Mumbai.

Dhoni, himself a superb T20 and 50-over batsman, will be the late-order game changer, and with Virat Kohli, who rediscovered his wonted touch with a patient 103 in the last Test at Nagpur, will give extra impetus in the batting and fielding sections.

Image: Ajinkya Rahane
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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India's pace attack has a fresh look to it

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The new ball bowling has a fresh look to it in the form of Ashok Dinda, Abhimanyu Mithun , Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Parwinder Awana -- with veteran Zaheer Khan opting out.

Dinda and Awana were part of the Test squad in the latter stages but did not get a game while Mithun has been added as a replacement for his injured Karnataka teammate, R Vinay Kumar.

The spin bowling department will be manned by R Ashwin, who will be extra keen to impress after a disappointing show with the ball in the Tests, Ravindra Jadeja, who made his Test debut at Nagpur, and Piyush Chawla, who too was part of the team in the drawn final game.

Image: Ravindra Jadeja
Photographs: Scott Barbour/Getty Images

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Morgan will lead the England T20 team

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England have made wholesale changes in their squad, with middle order batsman Eoin Morgan, who was part of the Test team but did not play a single game, taking over as the stand-in captain.

England's regular T20 captain Stuart Broad was unable to play because of an injury sustained during the Test series and was replaced by James Harris. Another big player missing in the England line-up is hard hitting batsman Kevin Pietersen.

The absence of Pietersen, who played a big role in England winning the Test rubber, will be welcomed by India. The star batsman is no longer part of the England Twenty20 team.

England have included T20 specialists like Alex Hales, Jos Butler, Jade Dernbach, James Tredwell, Michael Lumb, Luke Wright and Danny Briggs - some of who have been part of the development squad which played a few matches in Navi Mumbai when the Test matches were on.

Image: Kevin Pietersen
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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Pune stadium to host first international T20 match

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Retained from the Test squad along with captain Morgan are Tim Bresnan, wicketkeeper Jonny Bairstow, Samit Patel and Joe Root, who made an impressive Test debut in the final match.

Bresnan and Patel also had the opportunity to play in two and three Tests while Morgan and Bairstow did not.

India have lost three T20 games, all in bilateral series, between the two sides. They lost bilateral matches played at Lord's in June 2009 and the next two held at Manchester and Kolkata in August and October last year.

The game in Pune will be the first T20 International at the swanky Sahara Stadium, on the city's outskirts, which hosted IPL matches last year. It has a capacity of 43,000.

Teams (from):

India: Mahendra Sing Dhoni (capt), Gautam Gambhir, Ajinkya Rahane, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Piyush Chawla, Ashok Dinda, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Abhimanyu Mithun and Parvinder Awana.

England: Eoin Morgan (capt), James Harris, Jonny Bairstow, Tim Bresnan, Danny Briggs, Jos Butler, Jade Dernbach, Alex Hales, Michael Lumb, Stuart Meaker, Samit Patel, Joe Root, James Tredwell and Luke Wright.

Umpires: C Shamsuddin, Sudhir Asnani

Third Umpire: Vineet Kulkarni

Fourth Umpire: N K Srinath

Match Referee: Jeff Crowe.

Match starts: 1900 IST

Image: Luke Wright celebrates with Jonathan Bairstow
Photographs: Gareth Copley/Getty Images

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