England will have one final opportunity to get some game time in and acclimatise to the conditions before the real deal begins when the second warm-up takes place at the Brabourne Stadium on Thursday.
Virat Kohli on MSD
Sam Billings played a peach of a knock to guide an England XI to victory over India ‘A’ in the first practice match on Tuesday, with the away team showing one thing:
They have a really powerful and strong batting lineup, filled with quality and depth.
Chasing a not-small-at-all total, England, despite losing plenty of wickets at inopportune moments, cruised to the target with seven balls to spare.
Yes, it might not have been the strongest Indian bowling attack, but on flat decks, this England batting lineup is as dangerous as any in the world.
For the second match, India ‘A’ will not have the experience of MS Dhoni to call upon, with the former captain leading an India-coloured side out for the final time in the first warm-up match.
And how well did he do?
Dhoni scored a typically belligerent half-century and brought all his captaincy skills to the fore and now it will be over to Ajinkya Rahane, who will lead India ‘A’ in this second practice match. Rahane, no doubt, will look to spin to try and stop this brilliant England batting lineup.
Rahane will not be able to rely on the experience of Yuvraj Singh or Ashish Nehra, with both players not in the squad for the second match. This team is largely made up of inexperienced players and ones with potential.
But there is one with a lot of experience:
That is Suresh Raina. Raina has gone off the radar a little bit, and the left-hander will be keen to show he still belongs in the India limited-overs scene. Another one to look out for is Rishabh Pant, who has been named in the T20 squad for the England series.
Pant is seen as the next big thing in India cricket and the England bowlers could end up going for a fair few if the left-hander gets going.
Having chased in the first game, England, if they win the toss again, will probably want to bat first in the second warm-up, just so they have some practice defending a total as well.
Where to Watch Live
India ‘A’ vs England XI is set to begin at 9am IST on Thursday (3.30am GMT, 10.30pm ET). The warm-up match will be shown live on Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD2 in India. Live Streaming will be on Hotstar.
Live score is available on BCCI’s official website.