VVS Laxman said that Team India cannot afford to take England lightly and need to play with the best combination to win the T20I series.
Team India had rested Rohit Sharma in the first T20I against England and went in with three spin bowlers on a surface that was likely to assist the seamers.
During a discussion on Star Sports, Parthiv Patel asked VVS Laxman if Team India played three spinners as they were trying that combination or failed to read the wicket.
While stating that resting Rohit Sharma and playing Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul as openers might not be a bad decision, the former Indian batsman felt that the hosts need to put their best foot forward to get better of Eoin Morgan-led side.
“I feel if you want to win this series, which Virat Kohli and the Indian team wants to do, you need to play your best playing XI. I can understand not playing Rohit Sharma because Shikhar Dhawan is also an experienced batsman and KL Rahul is also an in-form experienced player. But if you don’t play the right combination against England, it will be very difficult to exert pressure because England is not lacking in experience,” said Laxman.
Laxman pointed out that India cannot treat the England T20I side as pushovers.
“The Test series was a different challenge as the wickets were in India’s favour, the England team had inexperienced batsmen but this England team is a very talented and experienced T20 side. So if you don’t play your best playing XI, it will be very difficult especially since this was the first match of the series,” added Laxman.
Parthiv Patel expressing his surprise at the host when they played three spinners with the black sol wicket tending to go in favour of the seamers.
“The Mushtaq Ali Trophy also took place here. The ball was bouncing a lot on the black soil wicket. Not too many runs were scored and fast bowlers took a lot of wickets. There were stats that spinners have taken more wickets here but that was when the matches were played on the red soil wickets. The black soil wicket has more bounce and I was also surprised that they played with three spinners,” said Patel.
The former wicketkeeper added India could have opted to go down the spin-heavy route if they had two wrist spinners.
“I can understand playing with three spinners if you have two wrist-spinners, in which case it can become an attacking option. But here you have Yuzvendra Chahal as a wrist-spinner and two-finger spinners,” concluded Patel.
The Indian bowlers struggled to defend the total as it was a below-par score of 124/7.