It was Twenty20 International cricket that helped kickstart the legend around Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Perhaps it will help him now to throw a blanket over the cracks that have beset his team this past year. It's a chance for the Indian T20 team to douse the fire, beat the team they bowled out for just 80 during the ICC World T20 2012 in Sri Lanka and, if nothing else, start the process of keeping the criticism in check a little, at least until the Test series against Australia in February-March 2013.
The first T20I between India and England will be played at Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium in Pune on Thursday (December 20), with the next one slotted for Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai two evenings later. And the series starts with the slate wiped clean of the 2-1 Test series scoreline in favour of England. A new format, very different personnel for both sides and a fresh beginning.
Gone are Virender Sehwag, Cheteshwar Pujara, Sachin Tendulkar, Pragyan Ojha and Ishant Sharma from the team that took part in the last Test against England in Nagpur. In place are the format regulars: Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja with the bat, Piyush Chawla as the second spin option, and Vinay Kumar on the seam bowling front, and then there are Dhoni, Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir and R Ashwin.