Preview: After a crushing 2-0 victory over minnows Ireland, India led by Virat Kohli will be up against a formidable England in the first of the three-match Twenty20 worldwide series (T20Is) at the Old Trafford in Manchester.
England, especially after a disappointing 2015 World Cup, have been nearly unbeatable at home in the limited-overs format, but Virat Kohli believes his team is very much capable of stopping the England juggernaut.
While it will be important to not lose sight of the present, it is the future that the teams will target, as Virat Kohli pointed out at Old Trafford on Monday (July 2), a day before the first T20I.
"We have just come off the IPL and a couple of games against Ireland where the team has looked great". The point was that we hadn't played on those wet and those damp conditions ever as a team. "And that's something that we're going to look at at doing in this series", Kohli revealed.
"We all are feeling relaxed and having a good time".
Maintaining such high, competitive spirit over such an extended period of time will never be easy especially if things do not go as India intend.
Both teams will also use these games to build towards next year's 50-over World Cup, and gear their white-ball game towards the flat batting conditions expected in this part of the world.
The series ate into the time that India could've rather spent tuning up in South Africa, and the results showed. England would want to win it back in their home. "The middle order in the ODIs has been something that we have been looking for, so we have a few things that we want to try out and address there as well".
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"We have actually been able to create flat wickets into wicket-taking wickets with the variety we have in the attack", skipper Kohli had said, referring to his wrist-spinners before the team departed for the United Kingdom tour. Attitude will be key.
And this what Kohli wants to go home with: the desire and intent to win every session of play. "But if we can carry on the winning mentality, I will be really proud as a captain", he said.
"You will see more experimentation", said England captain Eoin Morgan.
"I am not surprised with the way Jos has played", he said. "He grabbed his chances and it was lovely to watch him", the 29-year old said.
Heaping praise on England's current form, which saw the hosts outclass a hapless Australia 6-0 in a recent limited-over series, Kohli felt the English players' participation in various domestic T20 leagues, like the Indian Premier League, have contributed a lot in their growth.
"This season has broken that barrier to a great extent and I think it will happen in future as well". They're nine days of getting used to English weather - which is uncharacteristically warm at the moment - trying out different players, and "being flexible".
Talking about the team combinations, Kohli said that the batting order is going to be flexible and not "one-dimensional".