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Millennium Post

India look to resurrect

India need to put behind the humiliation of losing the Test rubber against England and regroup quickly to take on the confident visitors in the first of the two T20 Internationals on Thursday.

Under-fire for the first Test series loss to England in 28 years and and with his captaincy under the scanner, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni will have to put these issues on the back burner and motivate his teammates 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 would give India the much-needed edge and enthusiasm.

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

Incidentally Sharma, who has been in good form with the bat in the Ranji Trophy recently, had 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.

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 has excelled in the past.

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

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 of the series.

Dinda and Awana had been part of the Test squad in the latter stages but did not get a game.

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

England have made wholesale changes in their squad with triumphant Test skipper Alastair Cook returning home and replaced at the helm by hard-hitting middle order batsman Eoin Morgan who was part of the Test team but did not play a single game.

Morgan is also the stand-in captain for the injured Stuart Broad, replaced by James Harris, who has returned home along with many other members of the team, notably Kevin Pietersen.
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