Ishan Kishan’s blistering half-century, Virat Kohli’s masterclass, Hardik Pandya bowling his full quota of overs, there were plenty of positives for India to take from the second T20I. They were all over England and cruised to victory by seven wickets. The win will be a massive morale booster ahead of the 3rd T20I that is scheduled to take place on 16th March at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad.
England would be disappointed with their performance in the previous game. They were 1-0 up and a win in the second T20I would have made them the front runners to win the series. This would’ve been a massive boost ahead of the T20I world cup. However, that was not the case to be as they couldn’t replicate their performance of the 1st game and stumbled to a crushing defeat. Apart from Jason Roy, every other batsman failed to adjust to the slowness of the wicket. You look at their batting card and barring Buttler, all the other batsmen got decent starts but none of them went on to get a big score. This is something they need to work on before the next match. All these players have plenty of experience of playing in the Indian conditions thus we can expect them to sort out the issues before the next game. Mark Wood’s absence made their bowling look bleak and it will be interesting to see if the pacer returns in the next match to bolster the attack.
For India, more than anything else, they’ll be pleased to see Virat Kohli getting back to form. It was vintage Kohli on display as he decimated the English bowlers, racing his way to a classy 73. An in-form Kohli makes a massive difference to this Indian batting line up. KL Rahul will be disappointed that he failed to make a statement and missed out in the first two games. With Rohit Sharma available for selection, he might have to warm the bench for the remaining part of the series. Also, with Hardik Pandya bowling his full quota of overs, the team looks more balanced than it was in the 1st T20I, as India can now afford to play an extra batsman. Talking about India’ bowling, they were much better in the second T20 and bowled great lines, not allowing the English batsmen off their hook.
We have seen in the first two matches that it’s not easy to bat first on a slow wicket so the skipper that wins the toss will go in with a massive advantage. But that’s something one can’t control. We know that players like Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Dawid Malan likes the ball to come on to the bat, thus, if they are batting first, on a slow wicket, against the Indian spinners, it won’t be easy for them. Even the pacers, who bowl a lot of cutters, won’t be easy to get away. So overall, India will be more confident going into the match than England.
Playing XI –
Rohit Sharma/KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal
Jason Roy, Jos Buttler (wk), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Jofra Archer, Tom Curran/Moeen Ali, Chris Jordan/ Mark Wood, Adil Rashid