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India bank on young blood to come good in T20

Last updated on: August 30, 2011 16:36 IST

Kohli, Rohit have looked in good touch



India will try to put the humiliating whitewash in the Test series behind them when they take on England in the one-off Twenty20 cricket match in Manchester on Wednesday, hoping that their young batting brigade will be able to counter the seaming conditions.

After the Test series debacle, India began well on the path of redemption by scoring three consecutive victories in the warm-up games but they face an uphill battle against England the reigning Twenty20 world champions.

Both Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have looked in good touch in the warm-up games, shouldering the burden of taking India across the finish line.

More importantly, the duo has not yet been part of the losing side since laying foot in England, and that confidence and positivity could turn it around for India.

Image: Rohit Sharma


Tendulkar, Dravid have only one T20 between them

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Left-handed Parthiv Patel also got into the groove by top-scoring in India's win against Leicestershire on Monday.

However, India have run short of batsmen and they are left with no option but to ask its two most senior batsmen, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, to pad up for the game.

The present squad has altogether eight batsmen but opener Gautam Gambhir is as good as ruled out and Ajinkya Rahane is too wet behind the ears to be given the India cap.

It brings both Tendulkar and Dravid into equation -- two giant batsmen of the modern era who, ironically, have played only one Twenty20 international between them.

Tendulkar played India's inaugural Twenty20 international match in Johannesburg against South Africa on the 2006 tour but since then has often asserted he doesn't want to be part of India's Twenty20 group of players.

The highest and the second highest run-scorers in the history of Test cricket, however, would be required to respond to the call of the team.

Image: Sachin Tendulkar with Rahul Dravid

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Dravid needs to adapt to the shorter format

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It's an irony that a team, which only four years ago had won the inaugural Twenty20 World Cup in South Africa on the back of young talent, is now knocking at the doors of two 38-year-old veterans to bail them out.

Tendulkar has only shown glimpses of his prime form on the present tour.

Dravid needs to adapt his batting to the shorter formats of the game of which he hasn't been a part, well almost, for over three years.

Even though two of their tormentors from the Test series, Ian Bell and Alastair Cook, are not part of England's Twenty20 make-up, yet the hosts have enough verve and dash to carry the momentum forward.

Image: Rahul Dravid

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Skipper Broad to lead England attack

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England's bowling hardly looks affected with Stuart Broad, at the helm.

Tim Bresnan, Steve Finn, Graeme Swann and One-day specialist Jade Dernbach make for a formidable bowling bunch. Most of these names also have huge credentials as lower-order batsmen, which should give the top order the license to go after a lightweight Indian bowling.

As for England's top six batsmen, opener Craig Kieswetter, Eoin Morgan and Kevin Pietersen are relatively well-known. The other three -- Jos Butler, Ben Stokes and Alex Hales --  are said to be the future of English cricket in shorter formats of the game.

Butler featured for Somerset in the tour opener against the Indians last month but didn't get to bat at all. Most of the batting practice was usurped by England captain Andrew Strauss. The 20-year-old cricketer is a free-stroking batsman and adds up value as a competent wicketkeeper.

Image: Stuart Broad

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Stokes, Hales could be roped into England squad

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Stokes made his international debut only last week when he turned up for England against Ireland in a one-day international match. It don't prove to be a memorable outing as he only made three runs and didn't get an opportunity to showcase his fast-bowling ability due to injury.

- Stokes plays down comparisons with Flintoff

A prodigious talent, the left-hander would be remembered by the Indians as one who hit a century against them in the Under-19 World Cup two years ago.

Hales, in all probability, will open the innings in his international debut match. The 6"5' tall opener is said to be a natural timer of the ball.

Image: Ben Stokes

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Praveen, Munuf to spearhead Indian bowling

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From this it can be derived that England players are more versatile, something that can't be said of their Indian counterparts.

India's batting woes only appear accentuated by a mere glance at their bowling resources.  Praveen Kumar will be the spearhead of the attack and in all likelihood RP Singh would share the new ball with him.

Munaf Patel's past record might tilt the scales in his favour against Vinay Kumar who was impressive in the Twenty20 practice match against Leicestershire on Monday.

Amit Mishra should have a headstart over Ravichandran Ashwin in the spin department.

Presently the honours roll put it one-win each from two Twenty20 internationals between the two teams, yet a great chasm separates them.

The Teams (from):

England: Stuart Broad (capt), Ravi Bopara, Tim Bresnan, Jos Buttler, Jade Dernbach, Steven Finn, Alex Hales, Craig Kieswetter (wk), Eoin Morgan, Samit Patel, Kevin Pietersen, Ben Stokes, Graeme Swann.

India: Sachin Tendulkar, Parthiv Patel, Rahul Dravid, Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Praveen Kumar, RP Singh, Munaf Patel, Vinay Kumar, Amit Mishra and R. Ashwin.

The match will start at 10.30 p.m (IST).

Image: Praveen Kumar

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