India beat England in high-scoring T20 to seal series 3-2; Kohli shines

Putting on a full and dominating spectacle, India toppled England in the fifth Twenty20, not only to win the series 3-2, but also to prove that their preparations for the T20 World Cup are heading in the right direction.

Rohit Sharma’s sensational 64 on 34 balls and skipper Virat Kohli’s undefeated 80 on 52 balls propelled India to 224 for two, their all-time best against England, after the visitors won the draw for the fourth time in the series and chose to line up on Saturday.

In the chase, Jos Buttler (52 of 34) and Dawid Malan (68 of 46) kept India on the edge with a threatening position of 130 points, but England’s challenge fell through with the fall of the 13th wicket keeper overthrown by Bhuvneshwar Kumar.

England’s innings ultimately ended at 188 for eight as they lost the game by 36 points.

Dew was a factor in the second innings, but the Indian bowlers overcame that to defend the target on a batting beauty.

Bhuvneshwar was impressive in his comeback streak and saved the best for the decider to finish with two wickets for 15 races in four rounds.

Besides Bhuvneshwar’s successful return from injury, the big plus for India has been the emergence of Suryakumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. Hardik Pandya was back at bowling regularly, scoring another bright spot for Kohli’s side who have proven in the series that they can win by chasing as well as beating first.

England received a heavy blow at the start of the intimidating chase with Bhuvneshwar castling Jason Roy’s stumps with an inswinger.

However, incoming batsman Malan made sure the required big shots kept coming and, along with the dangerous Buttler, took England to 104 for one in 10 overs.

Malan, the world number one drummer, who hasn’t shot earlier in the series, was in his elements. His offside play was the highlight of his innings which included nine fours and two sixes.

The momentum turned decisively in India’s favor when Buttler walked away for a long time with Bhuvneshwar conceding just three points during that span. Buttler’s sacking also sparked Kohli, who was involved in a trade with the opposition players, which required the referee’s intervention.

Three other wickets, including that of Malan, followed quickly to seal the match for India.

Previously, bracing for success in all conditions ahead of the World Cup, India thrived under pressure from a series decider to produce their series batting performance.

Jofra Archer and Mark Wood had troubled the Indians with their extra pace in previous games, but Rohit and Kohli sent them to the cleaners en route to their 94-point-against-54-ball clash.

The other major contributions came from Suryakumar Yadav (32 out of 17 balls) and Hardik Pandya (39 not out of 17 balls).

The hosts have scored 67 points in the last five overs to give the innings a perfect finish.

With the exception of Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid, all English bowlers lost more than 10 points per set, with Chris Jordan (0/57) being the most expensive.

India have decided to drop KL Rahul’s opener to give left-arm playmaker T Natarajan an additional bowling option for the most important game.

Without Rahul at the top, Virat Kohli rose in order to open with Rohit, a movement that has worked wonders.

Rohit made most of the scoring in their partnership as Kohli was more than happy to enjoy a sensational display of punches from the other side.

Rohit, who rested for the first two games and didn’t have much in the next two, bolstered his reputation as a great matchmaker on Saturday.

Most of his five-sixes were his trademark shot, the seemingly effortless pull on a deep square leg. Also a feast for the eyes was his raucous straight run over a very fast Mark Wood on his first try.

Kohli also pulled Wood into the stands, a shot that completely pumped him up.

As Kohli paced his sleeves beautifully at the other end, he had the company of an extremely confident Suryakumar, who continued where he left off in his first match.

Kohli then teamed up with Hardik to push India past the 200.

(Only the title and image of this report may have been reworked by Business Standard staff; the rest of the content is automatically generated from a syndicated feed.)

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