England came up short in the second T20I match v India, losing by seven wickets as Virat Kohli proved once again he is the king of chasing down totals in this form of cricket. Kohli, who hit 73 off 49 balls, was the centre of attention once again having been dropped on ten by Jos Buttler before being given the benefit of the doubt by the officials when it seemed like he had been stumped late on.
That decision drew fury from the England fans watching on, while even the commentary team believed he should have been given out, after a review by the third umpire. Buttler was on his toes to catch out Kohli, who appeared not to have left any of his foot behind the line, but It was shown up on the big screen as not out, a decision which thrilled the home crowd. In truth that decision wouldn’t have affected the result of the game, India won with plenty of balls and wickets in hand, but it is important for the integrity of the game to be upheld, even against the game’s greatest players.
Captain Kohli, while at the crease, proved he was the best batsman on the planet once again, and the statistics support the great man. His Test average is 52.37, his ODI average is 59.31 and his T20I average is now 50.86 - the only man in the world to average above 50 in all three formats. Absolutely ridiculous figures. In the T20I game, he now holds the record for the most runs (3001), most fours, highest average and the most fifties, bringing up his 26th half century v England. Oh, and of course he won the game with a six.
Meanwhile, Ishan Kishan hit a half century for the hosts on his international debut as India chased down England’s total of 164. It wasn't a bad display with the bat for the visitors as Jason Roy top scored with 46 off 35 balls, while David Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan and Ben Stokes lost their wicket in the 20s after some generous Indian fielding. Buttler’s duck proved to be the only real disappointment on the day as the top two ranked sides in the world put on another thrilling contest.
Often when England lose, especially after the way they won the first T20I game, there can be an inquest into their performance. However, sometimes, especially in the short format of the game, you simply have to hold your hands up and admit India were the better team on the day. England started well with the ball, as Sam Curran took the wicket of KL Rahul with the final ball of the first over and looked to have a real chance of victory with the hosts on 0-1.
However, with some excellent batting performances from Kishan and Kohli, the hosts quickly moved onto 96 runs before they lost their next wicket. The India captain then dragged his side through to the finish as England’s bowlers failed to mount any consistent pressure on those in the middle. And so, it proved to be a game of fine margins for England, as India levelled the series 1-1 heading into the third match on Thursday, but ultimately, Virat Kohli was the difference maker once again.