Millennium Post

India aim T20I series win against England

Cardiff: Fresh from a clinical eight-wicket victory over England, India will aim to clinch the series when they face the hosts in the second Twenty-20 International of the three-match rubber at Sophia Gardens here on Friday.

The Men-in-Blue completely outclassed England in the first game as Kuldeep Yadav's fifer followed by Lokesh Rahul's unbeaten ton guided Indian to comfortable victory at the Old Trafford.

Virat Kohli will be expecting another dominant show from his side to set the tone for the long England tour.

On Friday, the Indian team management is likely to stick to the same playing eleven as they will not try to disturb their winning combination.

In batting department, Opener Shikhar Dhawan, who failed in the first match would like to rectify his mistakes in the coming match while in bowling department, pacers were punished in the first 10 overs would like to display some disciplined bowling initially.

On the other hand, the hosts will be desperate to bounce back in the series and would once again rely on opener Jos Buttler, who continued his purple patch of form with another fifty in the opening match.

In order to put a fight against the visitors, apart from Buttler, Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Alex Hales, Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan will have to quickly learn to read the spinners.

While England spinner Adil Rashid did a fair job in the first outing, Moeen Ali was expensive and will have to be economical against the spin-friendly Indian batsmen.

The English camp will also miss the services of pacer Tom Curran, who has been ruled out of the remaining T20Is and the ODI series owing to a left side strain.

A loss on Friday will see England drop down to rank seven below New Zealand, South Africa and West Indies, respectively.

Meanwhile, England all-rounder Chris Jordan has insisted that his team doesn't have issues facing quality spin despite being foxed by Indian chinaman Kuldeep Yadav in the first T20 International of the three-match series.

The second of the three-match series will be played in Cardiff on Friday, with the Men in Blue looking to wrap up the series by taking an unassailable 2-0 lead.

"We've been on a high in white-ball cricket for a while now. One game, one defeat, shouldn't change our confidence whatsoever. You still want to be on the front foot, and still want to play positive cricket. It was a good spell from Kuldeep Yadav, first of all, and then a very good innings from K L Rahul. They thoroughly deserved the win," said Jordan on Thursday.

The big question ahead of the game is how England will contend with wrist spinners Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal.

"We are not at all worried (about playing spin). We've got some very experienced players in our dressing room some very, very good players of spin. I think our record against spin since 2015 has been one of the better ones anyway and right up there as one of the best teams. We've just got to keep reminding ourselves of those positives.

"Yes, we know we probably have to be a bit smarter against Kuldeep and their (other) spinners. They'll try to use them wisely and tactically. But if we still try to stay on the front foot as much as possible and keep putting pressure back on them, I hope we'll be okay. Kuldeep is a quality spinner, a different spinner, and can be quite tough to pick at times," he said.

A majority of English batsmen practiced with the spin-bowling machine, Merlyn, which was last used ahead of the 2005 Ashes to get the then-England line-up prepared to face Shane Warne.

Merlyn is a good addition, especially when you don't have someone to replicate bowling left-arm 'chinaman'.

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