Ind vs Eng T20 series: Shaken India look for improved show

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Photo: ICC

Ahmedabad: Left shaken by a bunch of world-class operators, the Indian team’s white-ball stars will be aiming to put up an improved batting effort in the second T20 International against England here on Sunday.

It was India’s first white-ball game in three months and the rustiness of some of the premier shorter format players like KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya, and Yuzvendra Chahal’s showed in the first game in which the hosts were clinically outplayed.

One defeat is never the end of the story and no critic can rule this Indian team out of the series on the basis of a singular performance especially because of its zeal to fight.

However, as skipper Virat Kohli talks about players with X-factors doing the job, he would expect Rishabh Pant and Pandya to do a bit more with their explosive hitting, which should not be confined to one audacious reverse scoop (Pant off Jofra Archer) or a falling ramp shot (Pandya off Ben Stokes).

Both Pandya (19 off 21 balls) and Pant (21 off 23 balls) weren’t able to gauge the pace of the track as Archer and Mark Wood bowled fast and straight denying them any width for the cut shot. The extra bounce also didn’t allow them to drive on the up.

The wicket didn’t allow you to hit the kind of shots you wanted to. Shreyas’ innings was an example of how you could use the depth of the crease, ride the bounce because there was variable bounce at times, and hit the areas square of the wicket which others failed to do.

“It was just a below-par batting performance and England made us pay for it,” Kohli had summed it up aptly at the end of the match.

The captain’s acknowledgement of Iyer’s performance could well mean that the wait for Suryakumar Yadav might get a tad longer with only one middle-order slot available currently.
While giving his team’s oldest member, Shikhar Dhawan, a couple of matches is perfectly understandable but how long does he want to persist with the left-hander, who looked completely out of sorts during his 4 off 12 balls.

Rohit Sharma, as per Kohli, is rested for a couple of matches having played 6 consecutive Test matches along with 14 days of hard quarantine at the start of his Australian sojourn.

The bowling department didn’t have enough runs on board to put up a fight but whether one of the three spinners can make way for a tearaway quick like Navdeep Saini remains to be seen.
Perhaps Yuzvendra Chahal could make way for Rahul Tewatia, who may not be as crafty a leg break bowler but certainly a decent one with good batting prowess.

Eoin Morgan, one among the more likeable international captains, has been provided a team that has its bases covered with 12 players plying their trade in the IPL.

Unless something really goes wrong, this England team is a contender to win the T20 World Cup trophy in October this year with way too many powerhouse performers.