India v England, 1st T20I, Pune December 19, 2012

Scarred India strive for motivation


Match facts

December 20, 2012
Start time 1900 (1330 GMT)

Big Picture

Only three days ago, the two teams were part of a draining battle in the Test series in which things went from bad to worse for India while England rose in confidence and three days later, they are ready to take on each other for a couple of Twenty20s. Of the two, India need a win, any win.

For India, it is a strange situation. First, they fell in their own trap in the Tests and now they need to find the motivation to come out of the slump and play positive cricket. It doesn't help that the nucleus of their T20 squad is still the same as the Test side. MS Dhoni, whose leadership has been under fire, needs to arrest the slide and switch gears for a format, which appears, suited to the Indian team - hard-hitting batsmen, restrictive bowlers and a wait-and-watch style of captaincy. The reality, though, is that India haven't really dominated on the international level even in T20s.

Unlike India, England's T20 side bears a completely different look. The architects of the series win are already back in England for Christmas, but they have left a scarred Indian team for their T20 generation to feast upon. Most in the side, captained by Eoin Morgan, have been in India for some time now and would have spent time getting used to the spinning conditions. So on paper, England have again been methodical in their preparations. That doesn't directly translate to success - if pitches take spin, the young side could again appear like rabbit in headlights. But it points to one clear difference between the two sides - one fighting their demons, the other ignoring theirs.

Form guide

(Most recent first)
England LWLLW

In the spotlight

Yuvraj Singh may have flopped in the Tests, but he remains a dangerous limited-overs player. His inclusion in the T20 squad three months back appeared driven by emotions, but since then, Yuvraj has spent a considerable amount of time in the middle. He has scored a couple of hundreds at the first-class level and although he appeared inept in the Tests, he would prefer England's new-look bowling attack to stamp his authority.

Eoin Morgan has been a regular in England's limited-overs sides and in Stuart Broad's absence, he has been awarded with the captaincy. Morgan, one of England's best players against spin, will not only be the lynchpin in the middle order, he will have the responsibility of mentoring the inexperienced players. His IPL experience will come in handy for England to draw up plans against the Indian players.

Team news

Ten of the 15 players in India's squad also took part in the Test series. Ambati Rayudu, who replaced the injured Manoj Tiwary, and Bhuvneshwar Kumar are the two new additions apart from the regulars but could find it hard to make it to the XI. Parwinder Awana could make his international debut after L Balaji and Vinay Kumar were withdrawn from the squad due to injuries.

India: (likely) 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Ajinkya Rahane, 3 Virat Kohli, 4 Rohit Sharma, 5 Yuvraj Singh, 6 Suresh Raina, 7 MS Dhoni (capt), 8 R Ashwin, 9 Piyush Chawla, 10 Ashok Dinda, 11 Parwinder Awana

England lost Stuart Broad to a heel injury and was replaced by the Middlesex seamer James Harris. However, he is unlikely to make it to the XI with Tim Bresnan, Jade Dernbach and Stuart Meaker ahead of him. Joe Root, who was not part of the original T20 squad, could find a place after his impressive showing in the Nagpur Test.

England (likely) 1 Alex Hales, 2 Michael Lumb/Joe Root, 3 Luke Wright, 4 Eoin Morgan, 5 Jos Buttler, 6 Jonny Bairstow (wk), 7 Samit Patel, 8 Tim Bresnan, 9 James Tredwell, 10 Jade Dernbach, 11 Stuart Meaker

Stats and trivia

  • This will be the first international match at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune.
  • England have played 53 T20Is to India's 41. Their win-loss record is 27-23, which is similar to India's 22-17.
  • The two teams have met each other only five times, with England winning three. MS Dhoni is the only player to have played in all five matches.
  • Of the players in the two teams, Jade Dernbach has the most wickets in T20Is - 18.


"It's a completely different format. I don't think there is anything carrying forward from the Test series."
MS Dhoni

Devashish Fuloria is a sub-editor with ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Aditya on December 20, 2012, 14:05 GMT

    I get the uneasy feeling (the same I had when this team toured in England) that Team India will somehow manage to mess up in the limited overs format as well - dont know, just a gut feeling! This England side is ruthless!

  • gurinder on December 20, 2012, 13:46 GMT

    indi eed to win 2-0 and 5-0 to make english pay for their transgressions , hope dhoni lead india to glories, come on team INDIA , comeon team BLUE

  • subra on December 20, 2012, 13:37 GMT

    why Ravindra Jadeja still in this team.

  • Dummy4 on December 20, 2012, 13:30 GMT

    Come On India........................U Have To Play Well

  • John on December 20, 2012, 13:29 GMT

    Must say our bowling looks particularly weak to me without Swann and Finn. Re our batting I'd have Lumb in there ahead of Root. I prefer Lumb as a T20 batsmen , think he's next in line and also like the left/right opening combo. My team would be similar to My fellow Somerset fan's although I'm not sure about Bresnan or Dernbach

  • John on December 20, 2012, 13:23 GMT

    @RodStark on (December 19 2012, 16:37 PM GMT) There are pros and cons of 2 separate squads. The cons are that we'll miss the quality of guys like KP and Swann and if we want to be number 1 in all 3 fmts I'd say we need these players in the shorter formats , however we (Eng) seem to have stopped talking about this - perhaps realising that with the amount of cricket played it can't be done unless players are continually rested. So the pros being that there would be few conflicts from the coaches (ie the T20/ODI coach wanting players that Flower wants rested) , that players are less likely to suffer injury or burn out etc. The fact is that if we are continually going to rest our better players for the shorter formats (ie KP/Swann) we may as well just forget about them as T20/ODI players.

  • subra on December 20, 2012, 13:21 GMT

    I feel England will win the series 2/0 -India may put up a fight.They could hve added tiwary than Rohit sharma who had so many chances. Same with Rayudu . Murali Vijay can be given a chnace considering the fact he did reasonably well in many matches Ima happy Rahane has some chance I hope he will make use of it

  • Dummy4 on December 20, 2012, 13:17 GMT

    I would like to say that England can do well in this T20 as it has done against the Indian team months ago but this year. All the best to the English team against India.

  • Venkat on December 20, 2012, 13:13 GMT

    What is Gambhir, Chawla and Dinda doing in this side...Now England will have 14 players to play for them whilst india is down to 8 players...not fair!!!

  • Dummy4 on December 20, 2012, 13:11 GMT

    why people are talking about dhoni's captancy. Make sure give some space to thing about up coming matches

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