England have lost the T20 series in India 3-2 having been comprehensively beaten in the final match. India set a huge total of 224 on a pitch that was definitely made for the batters and set their stall out to win the World Cup in October this year.
Meanwhile for England, it left more questions than answers but Eoin Morgan’s side shouldn’t be too disheartened losing a series such as this to India, away from home. India batted supremely well with the bat and put England under pressure from the off. Virat Kohli was as composed and clinical as ever as he opened the batting alongside Rohit Sharma, and the pair reached 94 before Rohit was dismissed. That slight change moving Kohli up the batting order could provide the template for the T20 World Cup later this year, given the success the captain had.
He reached 80 not out and provided a steady platform for the others to flourish. From an England point of view, the most incredible spot of fielding came from Chris Jordan as he got Suryakumar Yadav out with a one-handed catch on the ropes. Yadav, who made a good case for his World Cup inclusion with an aggressive 32 off 17 balls, went for a big six but found Jordan, who caught the ball one-handed before passing it on to Joe Root as he crossed the boundary rope. It was simply sensational.
THAT IS SPECIAL. 😍
His fielding may have been spot on but his work with the ball left a lot to be desired as he ended with figures of 57-0 from just four overs, the worst amongst England’s bowlers. Sam Curran’s inclusion was a little strange given he only bowled one over for the expense of 11 runs while Ben Stokes and Adil Rashid took one wicket apiece.
England left themselves with a huge amount to do with the bat, but then again, they have always backed themselves to chase down any total, no matter how large it is. Things got off to the worst possible start as Jason Roy was bowled out for a duck after just two balls. From there, England did start to look like they may be able to chase down the total as Jos Buttler and in particular Dawad Malan, who batted superbly, put together a superb partnership early on.
Malan answered his critics with 68 off 46 balls as England reached 130-1 but from there, it was all downhill for the visitors who could not close down the total quickly enough. Once Buttler and then Jonny Bairstow were dismissed in quick succession, Malan and captain Eoin Morgan followed as England slumped to 142-5.
From there, there was no chance of an England comeback, Ben Stokes disappointed at the crease as Chris Jordan and Joffra Archer lost their wickets cheaply. The Indian bowling was spearheaded by the incredible Bhuvneshwar Kumar who even in tricky conditions posted remarkable figures. Kumar took two wickets for just fifteen runs across four overs in a run of balls that essentially won India the game.
Kohli used him sparingly and then brought him back into the attack to kill the England revival, and both of those will be key players if India are to have success in Australia later this year.
These two sides are likely to be the teams most likely to do battle for the World Cup in India, although they will face stiff competition. If this series is anything to go by, it will be incredibly difficult to separate them on neutral soil and with any luck they will do battle on the big stage, but for now, India fully deserve their series win over the world number one side.