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5th T20I, preview: INDIA, ENGLAND CLASH IN SERIES DECIDER WITH WORLD CUP READINESS ON MIND

The stage is all set for one final showdown between India and England to figure out the missing pieces, if any, to form their dream squads for the T20 World Cup, which will be organised later this year. 

India and England are currently locked 2-2 in the five-match series and the last that will be played today at Motera will be as good as the Grand Finale. 

India will be entering the tournament on the back of a closely-fought win in the last match. As far as the batting department is concerned, almost each player in the top 6 has had their share of good knocks, barring Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul so far. 

Rohit had a terrific run in the Test series but the two matches he has played in the T20Is, his scores stand 15 and 12. For Rahul, it's a little more worrisome - in four matches he has 1, 0, 0, 14. What India will need today is a little more consistency from each of the batters than what the series has seen so far.

While youngsters like Ishan Kishan, Rishabh Pant, Shreyas Iyer and Suryakumar Yadav have impressed in their turns, skipper Kohli also has shown his firepower in a couple of innings. Hardik Pandya, even though, hasn't quite been his earlier attacking self yet, his contribution with the ball has been quite effective. His tidy and economic spells have checked crucial runs which have benefited the team in the eventual outcome.

Having said that, India need to be overall a tad tighter in the bowling today as they have gone for plenty even in the last match where they had a pretty big score to defend. Even though Shardul Thakur eventually sealed the deal in the last over, we can't forget the bashing he was at the receiving end of, along with Washington Sundar. 

England, meanwhile, are unlikely to take the last loss to heart. They came tantalizingly close to winning it even from difficult situations. Their top order has clicked in almost every other match so far which stands them in good stead.

Interesting facts

  •  8*: India have won their last 8 T20Is while chasing at home. India’s last defeat while chasing in a T20I at home was in 2017 vs New Zealand at Rajkot.
  • India’s record is of 9 consecutive wins in T20Is while batting 2nd between 2019 to 2020.
  • 200: This could be Yuzvendra Chahal’s 200th T20 match.
  • 7: Rohit Sharma is 7 fours away from completing 800 fours across T20s.
  • He can become the 10th batsman to achieve this landmark.
  • 25: Shreyas Iyer is 25 runs away from completing 4,000 runs across T20s.
  • 7: Bhuvneshwar Kumar is 7 wickets away from completing 50 wickets in T20Is for India.
  • 89: Eoin Morgan is 89 runs away from completing 7,000 runs across T20s.
  • 65: Dawid Malan is 65 runs away from completing 1,000 runs in T20Is for England.