In a surprising move, India left out Rohit Sharma from the opening T20I against England, which the visitors eventually won by eight wickets.
England won the toss and opted to field first against India in the first of the five-match series on Friday. India skipper Virat Kohli announced that Rohit will be resting in the first few games.
Speaking at the toss, Eoin Morgan said: "We're going to have a bowl. Looks a good wicket with a covering of grass. A little bit of dew later on. Going to be an evenly-poised contest. The opportunity to play in India against a very strong side with the World Cup later this year, we're really excited. The key is to evolve in our game. Five T20Is at this ground, it's going to turn at some stage and we have to be smarter. That's one aspect of our game that we're trying to evolve."
Kohli said India would have also bowled first. "Probably would have bowled first as well. Dew is going to be a massive factor in the second half. Got to get into the game with the ball and restrict them to a chaseable score. We were planning to do things like batting first in these conditions where bowling in the dew becomes a factor. It's a good way to prepare for the World Cup. The next few months will be important from a team environment. Rohit is resting for the first couple of games," he said.
India playing XI: KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Virat Kohli(c), Shreyas Iyer, Rishabh Pant(w), Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Axar Patel, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur, Yuzvendra Chahal.
England playing XI: Jason Roy, Jos Buttler(w), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan(c), Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood. (ANI)
Here are a few reactions:
I'm going to say this: India can be better T20 team without Virat Kohli. Give SKY a chance and promote Iyer to number three. Don't need to say anything about Rohit leading this side, do I?— Arjun (@ArjunNamboo) March 12, 2021
— ꧁༺ 𝓛𝓾𝓬𝓲𝓯𝓮𝓻 𝓜𝓸𝓻𝓷𝓲𝓷𝓰𝓼𝓽𝓪𝓻 ༻꧂ (@JitendraMI45) March 12, 2021
New Rohit Sharma in the Town. pic.twitter.com/d6zzNL0vWC— MSDian™ (@Ashwin_tweetz) March 12, 2021
You can't change the fact that Rohit @ImRo45 is the Best Batsman of this Indian team— Royce 🎭 (@Elegance__45) March 12, 2021
We already started to feel his absence
Virat Kohli rested Rohit Sharma for the match.— Keh Ke Peheno (@coolfunnytshirt) March 12, 2021
Rohit Sharma be like : pic.twitter.com/cVhaYJeSC6
Rohit Sharma decided to sit out after Suryakumar Yadav was not picked. Once again standing with MI player. #INDvENG— Silly Point (@FarziCricketer) March 12, 2021
No Rohit, No Ishan and No Surya as well. Atleast should have played Surya. Mood off 💔— R A T N I S H (@LoyalSachinFan) March 12, 2021
If India have deliberately said they're picking KL/Rohit/Virat, to stop England picking Moeen, give them the trophy right now— Ben Jones (@benjonescricket) March 12, 2021
After Seeing No Rohit Sharma, Ishan kishan, and Surya Kumar Yadav In Playing 11..— Jethalal (@Jethiya_lal) March 12, 2021
MI Fans - pic.twitter.com/hHvkH16qpA
No Rohit— Ethan Hunt🏏🎾 (@theshivansh_p) March 12, 2021
No Ishan Kishan
Mumbai Indians fans tonight pic.twitter.com/DrxWLeJWDS
With Agency Inputs