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'Raina has a lot to offer Indian cricket' - Kohli

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'Want to play more expressive cricket' - Kohli (2:30)

India captain Virat Kohli talks to the media about the ideal team selection and grooming the youngsters (2:30)

Contrary to the usual convention of bringing in a lot more youth for T20 matches, India have gone back to veterans like Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni and Amit Mishra for the three Twenty20 internationals against England.

Dhoni's inclusion is perhaps to groom and ease in a young wicketkeeper, such as the uncapped Rishabh Pant. Others like Yuvraj, Raina and Mishra will be under pressure to perform to keep their own places.

Yuvraj struck a century in the second ODI last week, and Mishra has been in and around the mix - he played two home Tests against England and took 18 wickets in five ODIs against New Zealand. Raina, though, hasn't had much cricket coming into the tournament. He last played for India in March 2016; he was left out after being originally included in India's ODI squad for the New Zealand series because of an "illness". He also missed a majority of Uttar Pradesh's Ranji Trophy campaign.

That means he will have to hit the ground running straightaway, should he be picked in the XI. Virat Kohli believes Raina will have a lot to offer this team. "We still believe that he has enough to contribute in the short formats for India," Kohli said. "Again, this series will be an opportunity for a lot of guys to get back into the groove or seal their spots or whatever you want to call it. The reason why everyone is included in the squad is because we believe in them, we have faith in them; they can contribute now and in the future as well.

"At the end of the day it's up to the individual after that, how well prepared he is or how eagerly he is waiting for the opportunity. From the management and the selectors' point of view, they can only do so much in showing faith and getting a guy into the squad and it's up to the individual. It's about striking the right balance and hopefully he does get back into his groove because I feel he certainly has a lot to offer for Indian cricket, especially in the shorter formats and he can start with this series onwards, there's no problem with that."

Mishra's inclusion also occurred only because frontline spinners R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were rested ahead of five more home Tests - one against Bangladesh and four against Australia. He was picked as a replacement along with Parvez Rasool, with Yuzvendra Chahal already in the squad.

Mishra has played only one T20I since the 2014 World T20 and would be eager to stamp his mark during the series, knowing the other spinners will be breathing down his neck, especially with Rasool's added batting skills.

"The guys who are coming in have done well in IPL and in domestic T20," Kohli said. "They are pretty consistent; the areas that they are bowling are pretty good. Chahal, obviously, everyone has seen his performances. Rasool played under me at Royal Challengers Bangalore. So I have seen the way he bowls. He is pretty confident and can bowl with the new ball against some of the attacking batsmen of the world.

"These two guys are smart. They know how to create pressure and bowl to get you wickets. I am pretty confident about both of them and am sure they will extend it to this level as well. This is a breakthrough series for both them. They have not played a big series yet. This might be the perfect opportunity for them to seal their spots as T20 specialist spinners."

Since India do not play three-match T20 series frequently, except before a World T20, the selectors opted for youth in Pant and others like Mandeep Singh, given the series does not have as much context as the ODIs did because of the upcoming Champions Trophy. That meant there could be more experimentation in the T20 series and more chances could be given to youngsters, than just sticking with the old horses.

"The squad has been selected like that," Kohli said. "We've got in quite a few youngsters now who we want to groom with the senior guys in the team. Eventually the idea is to groom them enough to give them confidence from hereon and then maybe push them to the ODIs and then give more confidence and then from thereon have that gradual progress to get them to the highest level which is Test cricket.

"But it's very important to back them enough in T20 cricket, get some confidence behind you and then extend your career graph as I said. The vision has to be that, you have to understand that even me or anyone can't play forever so you need to understand who are the guys who are going to slowly blend in and take Indian cricket forward. That has to be kept in mind all the time."

India are carrying plenty of batting reserves with KL Rahul, Pant and Mandeep Singh as openers, and Raina and Manish Pandey for the middle-order spots along with Dhoni and Yuvraj. Kohli, without divulging any plans about the XI for Thursday's match, said it was "easy" to pick a line-up in the beginning of a series, compared to later when it would be tough to decide whether to drop a batsman or give him more chances.

"The problem always arises when you don't have consistency," Kohli said. "But in the first game it's not much of an issue because you already have a set batting line-up that you want to start with. If there are consistency issues with a particular batting place or position, then it becomes difficult if you want to replace the guy or if you want to give him a couple of more goes. I think starting the first game is never an issue, you have a set XI in your head and you go ahead."