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Twenty 20 - Cricket: England vs India first T20 preview

After Eoin Morgan's recent announcement that he was stepping down from the role, Jos Buttler starts his time as white-ball captain with the toughest test possible.

Under Morgan, England were ODI world champions in 2019 and made the final of the World T20 tournament in 2016, meaning it will be a hard act to follow for Buttler.

The new era starts with a three-match T20 series against an India team who are ranked number one in the world, with the opening match on Thursday 7 July.

What

England v India 1st T20 international

Where

The Ageas Bowl, Southampton

When

Thursday, 7th July – 18.00

How to watch

Sky Sports Main Event and Sky Sports Cricket

Odds

England 8/11, India 11/10

Buttler will continue England ethos

There is positivity running through England cricket at the moment, after a big recent turnaround in the fortunes of the Test team.

The message from Test coach Brendon McCullum and captain Ben Stokes has been to attack from the start, something which the white ball team have been doing in the last six or seven years.

Considering Buttler's batting style, you can't imagine anything else but a positive mind frame from the limited-overs squad as they prepare for the T20 World Cup later this year.

Not only is it a new start for Buttler, but there is also a new coach at the helm - Australian Matthew Mott will oversee the white-ball team.

The 48-year-old was previously the coach of the Aussie women's cricket team, whilst he also had a two-year spell in charge of Glamorgan between 2011 and 2013.

Uncharacteristically, England have lost five of their last seven T20 internationals and lost the most recent series with India 3-2, back in March 2021.

One positive for England, though, is their record at the Ageas Bowl, having won six of their nine T20 matches played in Southampton, including five wins in their last six 20-over matches at this ground.

In-form Hooda can be a threat

India have lost just two of their last 12 completed T20 internationals and have the players that can beat anyone on their day.

All-Rounder Deepak Hooda is one that has caught the eye in recent matches, smashing an unbeaten 47 and then 104 in the recent two-match series against Ireland.

The man they call 'The Hurricane' has made a name for himself as a big-hitter in the IPL, where in his first season in 2015 he scored 151 runs in 14 matches. Hooda can be backed at 15/4 to be India's top batter in the first match of the series.

Opener Ishan Kishan is the only India player in the Top 10 of the T20 batting rankings (seventh), averaging 32.75 in his 17 international innings to date.

The 23-year-old has four T20 half-centuries to his name, but this is his first time playing in English conditions and it will be interesting to see how he copes.

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Parkinson needs to deliver

The conditions should give England's bowling attack the edge, particularly the pace line-up, but they do have to cope with a significant miss.

Adil Rashid is not part of the 14-man squad and his absence, as the world's number two ranked T20 bowler, will be felt by the hosts.

Matt Parkinson looks set to be given the task of replacing the Yorkshire star and his legbreaks will need to be on the money over the next three matches.

The Lancastrian has six wickets in four T20 matches to date and his action will be put to the test by a very strong India batting line up.

Surprisingly, India have just one bowler in the top-20 of the T20 world rankings - that man is Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who has 66 wickets in 66 internationals.

The 32-year-old, who has an economy rate of 6.99, has only twice played T20 internationals in England though, claiming just one wicket in those two matches.

England duo have fond Southampton memories

Four of the top seven individual scores in international T20 cricket at the Ageas Bowl belong to two important members of the England squad.

Skipper Buttler has an unbeaten 77 and 73 to his name at Southampton, while Dawid Malan scored 76 off just 48 balls against Sri Lanka last year, while also smashing 66 against Australia in 2020.

The biggest team score at the ground came back in 2013, when Australia recorded 248-6 against England - the hosts also made over 200 in that match.

A par score at the Ageas Bowl though is around 160 but with the batting talent on show in both teams, it will be no surprise to see either side beat the most recent high score at Southampton - 180/6 which England racked up against Sri Lanka last June.

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