Mark Wood made it to England XI along with Chris Jordan, but Tom Curran missed out
Toss England chose to bowl vs India
England captain Eoin Morgan opted to chase in the T20I series opener against India in Ahmedabad, citing the dew factor. His opposite number Virat Kohli was wary of the dew, too, which made chasing easier at this venue in the Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy – India’s domestic T20 tournament – in January.
While England picked just one spinner in Adil Rashid, India packed their attack with three – legspinner Yuzvendra Chahal and fingerspin-bowling allrounders Washington Sundar and Axar Patel. In the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, Mohammed Shami and T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar returned for his first international since December 2019. Shardul Thakur was selected as the second seamer ahead of Deepak Chahar and Navdeep Saini.
England chose the rapid pace of Mark Wood, who is back in the England squad after being rested for the red-ball leg of the tour, over the all-round skills of Tom Curran.
On the eve of the first T20I, Kohli had said that Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul were India’s first-choice opening pair in the lead-up to the T20 World Cup. But on Friday, India shook things up by resting Sharma and pairing Rahul up with Shikhar Dhawan. Kohli said that Sharma will be “resting for the first couple of games [of the series].”
Morgan reckoned that the track was “good with a nice covering of grass” and expected it to slow down as the series progresses at the Motera.
England: 1 Jason Roy, 2 Jos Buttler (wk), 3 Dawid Malan, 4 Jonny Bairstow, 5 Ben Stokes, 6 Eoin Morgan (captain), 7 Sam Curran, 8 Jofra Archer, 9 Chris Jordan, 10 Adil Rashid, 11 Mark Wood
India: 1 KL Rahul, 2 Shikhar Dhawan, 3 Virat Kohli (capt), 4 Shreyas Iyer, 5 Rishabh Pant (wk), 6 Hardik Pandya, 7 Axar Patel, 8 Washington Sundar, 9 Shardul Thakur, 10 Bhuvneshwar Kumar, 11 Yuzvendra Chahal
Deivarayan Muthu is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo