IND vs ENG: India beat England to seal series win with 2-0 lead
Rohit Sharma’s inspiring leadership and aggressive approach saw India comprehensively outclass England by 49 points in the second T20 International to seal the three-match series with an unassailable 2-0 lead at Edgbaston on Saturday.
Batting first, India again showed aggressive intent from start to finish while hitting 170 for eight on new ‘all-around hitter’ Ravindra Jadeja (46 steps on 29 balls) after a sudden collapse over the course of the intermediate phase on a track full of rhythm and bounce.
With the ball, the new found rhythm of Bhuvneshwar Kumar (3/15) in the overs on the power play was complemented superbly by the skillful duo of Jasprit Bumrah (2/10) and Yuzevndra Chahal (2/10) as the innings English imploded for a meager 121 in 17 overs.
While India’s batting was very good in both games, the bowling was simply outstanding with complete dominance in the PowerPlays.
Since he got the full-time captaincy, the Indian team has yet to lose a match under him. There have been three clean sweeps – New Zealand (3-0), West Indies (3-0), Sri Lanka (3-0) and a fourth against England in the current which looks imminent.
Three months out from World T20, the playing XI on Saturday gave a glimpse of what the batting order and philosophy could look like going forward.
The elevation of Rishabh Pant (26 from 15 balls) as an opener alongside skipper Rohit (31 from 20 balls) is a welcome move where the team at least wouldn’t err on the side of caution in overs on the power play.
Between the duo, they hit seven fours and three sixes in the first six overs, an approach that was missing in the last T20 World Cup.
The strategy is not to stop playing the shots even if the wickets fall at one end and Virat Kohli (1 of 3 balls) felt the peer pressure and the badly timed skier showed his desperation.
But the most impressive aspect came from 89 for five, as India still managed to reach 170, thanks to Jadeja, who did not have a good time in T20 cricket after having a torrid time at CSK during the IPL.
Jadeja seemed to be playing with a free spirit and it was evident that even though the wickets were falling at the other end, there was no slack in his stroke game as the scoreboard had a competitive feel.
The swing is back
A good Indian white ball team has always had Bhuvneshwar as an important part of the setup. In the opener, it was a banana inswinger that castled rival captain Jos Buttler and on Saturday a classic outswinger saw Jason Roy prevail on the slippery cord.
The crafty Bhuvneshwar then had Pant run up to the stumps to stop Buttler giving the charge and the result was a lazy undercut in the keeper’s gloves.
Liam Livingstone (15) with a helmet camera was fooled by a slow Bumrah cutter who took ages to back out and knock down the bails.
Harry Brook had some limitations, but when Chahal threw one, he took the bait but failed to execute properly. Moeen Ali (35) had a few shots but England lost wickets at regular intervals as Rohit used his bowlers brilliantly.
With three wickets down, he unleashed Chahal and just as Moeen was trying to win the match, he walked into Hardik Pandya, who broke through to him.
Short scores: India: 170 for 8 in 20 overs (Ravindra Jadeja 46 not out, Rohit Sharma 31; Chris Jordan 4/27, Richard Gleeson 3/15).
England: 121 all out in 17 overs (Moeen Ali 35; David Willey 33; Bhuvneshwar Kumar 3/15, Jasprit Bumrah 2/10, Yuzvendra Chahal 2/10).