Former India batsman Virender Sehwag has said India would be the strong favourites to win the upcoming first T20I against England on Tuesday.
Both the teams will enter the contest high on confidence. India warmed up for the series in style by thrashing Ireland in the two-T20 series. In both the games, they scored 200-plus totals before the bowlers made light work of Ireland’s batsmen. On the other hand, England dismantled Australia in their last limited-overs assignment.
England batsmen absolutely massacred the Australian bowlers in the series. In five games, they scored 300-plus total on three occasions. The two times they missed out was because they were chasing 200-plus totals.
In the third ODI, they had scored a staggering 481 for six – the highest-ever total in the ODI history. They had also dominated the one-off T20, scoring 221 before restricting Australia to 193.
With form on their side and the advantage of playing in their own backyard might give England the upper hand. However, Sehwag believes that India start as firm favourites to take a lead in the T20I series.
“In my opinion, India have 95% chance of winning the first T20I,” he told India TV.
Sehwag further said that Jasprit Bumrah’s absence due to injury might not necessarily prove to be a disadvantage for the team. Bumrah was sidelined after fracturing his finger. The right-arm pacer suffered the injury during the first T20 game against Ireland
“Bumrah’s injury has given Umesh Yadav a chance. He did well in the IPL and he might play along with Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and two spinners. Bumrah will be missed in the team but I believe, whenever a player gets injured the other player gets a chance and he tries to make the best out of it,” opined Sehwag.
The Indian team-management, meanwhile, will be hoping that their skipper Virat Kohli finally delivers in England. Kohli had flopped miserably on the last tour. And the way he performed against Ireland, things are not looking bright. He failed to open his account in the first game and was out for just 9 in the second. However, Sehwag feels that Kohli’s failure in Ireland might be a good omen for him and his team.
“It’s good that Kohli couldn’t score much in Ireland. When you don’t get to score in matches, you try hard in the next ones. He will look to score against a stronger side and we may get to see a hundred from him in England,” quipped Sehwag.
“In the first match, he got to bat very late. In the next match, he got out early in an attempt to play a good shot. It happens. But I am sure he’s due to make runs in big matches ahead. He couldn’t make many runs on his last tour but he won’t miss the opportunity this time,” he added.