Will the real India stand up to be counted against Broad's Twenty20 side?

By Paul Newman for the Daily Mail

England will discover whether the 'real' India will stand up on Wednesday when the World Twenty20 champions take on the World Cup holders in the first of six limited-overs games that should see the international season end with a flourish.

A capacity crowd at Old Trafford will see if Stuart Broad will have a more productive second Twenty20 international as captain than his first one and whether India can drag themselves up from the floor after losing the Test series 4-0 to England.

Smiling assassin: Stuart Broad is looking for his first win as England captain

Smiling assassin: Stuart Broad is looking for his first win as England captain

India, who take one-day cricket far more seriously than the ultimate game, have had much better preparation than they did for the Test series, winning their three warm-up matches.

That should make them difficult opponents for an England team who have reacted to their defeat by Sri Lanka earlier this season by bringing three young newcomers into tonight's squad for this sole Twenty20 match. It will be followed by a five-match 50-over series, starting at Durham on Saturday.

Alex Hales, 22, looks certain to open the batting in place of Michael Lumb while Jos Buttler, 20, and Ben Stokes, 20, could be competing for one middle-order place now Kevin Pietersen has been declared fit after taking a blow in the throat in practice on Tuesday.

Opening up: Alex Hales is set to start for England

Opening up: Alex Hales is set to start for England

Broad, who leads England after becoming man of the Test series, was keen to pick both Hales and Buttler in this squad, particularly after watching the Somerset batsman-keeper playing some audacious shots in their Twenty20 quarter-final victory over Notts.

Broad said: 'Hales is a tall guy who hits the ball hard and has an extremely high strike rate in Twenty20 while we have seen Buttler play all sorts of shots, particularly against Notts, over the keeper and fine leg. Stokes is a big hitter of the ball who has shown his power in training already. There is some exciting talent coming out of the domestic Twenty20 tournament.'

The hope now is that the infusion of new blood can help Broad to get off and running as a Twenty20 leader against an India side missing key players like Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Ishant Sharma and Gautam Gambhir, who will miss the series following his concussion.

New addition: Jos Buttler is in England's squad

New addition: Jos Buttler is in England's squad

How they line up

ENGLAND (probable): Kieswetter (wkt), Hales, Pietersen, Morgan, Bopara, Stokes, Patel, Bresnan, Broad (capt), Swann, Dernbach.

INDIA (probable): Dhoni (capt, wkt), Rahane, Dravid, Kohli, R Sharma, Raina, Kumar, Mishra, Ashwin, Vinay Kumar, Aaron.

TV: LIVE on Sky Sports 1 from 5.30pm.

'It didn't go to plan,' admitted Broad of his debut captaincy defeat at Bristol.

'We didn't get enough runs on the board. We learned from that Sri Lanka defeat and it's about players standing up and taking responsibility now.'

England are keen to get as much out of each Twenty20 match as they can in the build-up to the defence of their world crown in Sri Lanka next year and on Tuesday had a long session at Old Trafford playing out various short-form match scenarios.

They also plan to name a strong team against West Indies at The Kia Oval at the end of September and stage a Twenty20 training camp.

'We know how strong India are in the white ball game and we will have to be aware of that, ' added Broad.

Even so, it will be a surprise if England's domination over the tourists is not extended.

Bumbles' smasher

David Lloyd proved why he's such a big hit with cricket fans on Tuesday.

Smashing: David Lloyd hits Murali for six

Smashing: David Lloyd hits Murali for six

The Sportsmail columnist smashed Muttiah Muralithran - that's 800-Test wickets Murali - for a six during a charity match in Lancashire.

Bumble's hoick landed smack in the middle of a spectator's windscreen.

Andrew Strauss was also in form, hitting his highest first-class score of 184 not out for Middlesex against Leicestershire at Lord's.


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