Sports

Combination woes for Kohli as India gear up to save series

NAGPUR: Facing the prospect of a series defeat at home for the first time in 15 months, skipper Virat Kohli will have a relook at his team combination as hosts India take on a resurgent England in a do-or-die second T20 International, here tomorrow.

The last time that India lost a series was 2-3 against South Africa in October 2015.
After receiving a sound thrashing in the first T20 International at Kanpur, the hosts' first aim will be to keep the series alive.

Kohli, unbeaten as captain (series wise) at home in all forms, will need to go back to the drawing board as he tries to figure out his best playing XI at a venue where the 'Men in Blue' have lost both their previous encounters.

The defeat to New Zealand in the league phase of the World T20 Championship under Dhoni at the VDCA stadium in Jamtha, will still be fresh in the Indians' mind and on that occasion the famed batting had come a cropper against the spinners Mitchell Santner and Ish Sodhi.

At Kanpur, it was the pace attack of England, with the visitors' bowlers keeping the length short, that undid the strong India batting line-up boasting of Kohli, Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh, all proven match-winners on their own.

Yuvraj's position in the T20 set-up, Manish Pandey's batting slot at No 6 and KL Rahul's indifferent form in limited overs, will certainly be taken into consideration when captain Kohli and Anil Kumble sit down to finalise the playing XI.

The Indian total of 147 in first match, in which Dhoni top-scored with 36, was well below the par score and they would be eager to correct the aberration against an English batting line-up that's not only strong but has depth too.

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