India continued its winning streak in the recently concluded series against England, making it an unbeaten 8 T20I series win on a trot.Embed from Getty Images
India gave a clinical performance in the series decider guided by a fantastic opening partnership from Kohli and Rohit and an equally good performance from Bhuvneshwar Kumar. India, once again, after losing the toss, battled coming out of its comfort zone. This team hasn’t been a great side defending the totals in T20I in the past couple of years. As mentioned by Kohli in the toss number of times, it was very important for India to negate the toss factor before the major event happening later this year.
Let’s take a look at some key takeaways from the India vs England T20I series:
Emergence of New Stars:
This series has seen a couple of new faces from the Indian side in Surya Kumar Yadav and Ishan Kishan. Though it came late, it came at the right time for Surya Kumar Yadav and he grabbed the opportunity with both hands. With a six on the very first ball of his international career, he made his intentions pretty clear.Embed from Getty Images
Ishan Kishan was nothing less than a superstar in his debut match. Opening the batting, he displayed his fearless batting in front of his skipper. Ishan and Surya, both took their debut matches pretty seriously and didn’t think about the future. They played as if it was their first and the last match and that’s the reason, they were able to make the most of it. Winning the ‘Man of the Match‘ award in their debut innings, they’ve certainly made a mark in international Cricket. Hence, they’re surely in contention for the T20 World cup happening later this year.
Intent in batting:
Though India has been one of the best sides in T20I, it has struggled to shift the gear in the middle overs as a batting unit. The problem with India was that it had too many anchors in the batting department. This team was lacking in power hitting. But now, India has batsmen who have the ability to score at faster rates. India has Ishan Kishan, who can open the innings to give a great start. Next, they have Surya, who has shown his skillset and the range of shots which are added bonus in the shorter format. Moreover, Rishabh Pant coming at number 4 is also adds value in the batting as far as the scoring rate is concerned.Embed from Getty Images
India had concerns in the middle order regarding the boundary rates. Although Kohli deals less frequently with boundaries, he makes sure that he bats deep. He displayed his heroics in the final T20I wherein he was there for his team for the complete 20 overs, which is insane. Now, India has a number of players to support him from the other end including Pant, Iyer, Surya which is a great sign for the team.
Hardik Pandya: The Bowler
Though there are a number of positives for India as a batting unit, one of the biggest positives overall has to be Pandya bowling. India had to play just 5 bowlers in the T20I series against Australia with Pandya unable to bowl. In fact, Pandya did reasonably well as a specialist batsman. But it was very important for India to get Pandya as a genuine all-rounder before the World Cup as you can’t afford to go with just 5 bowlers against aggressive batting line-ups like England, West Indies, etc. Hardik got the opportunity to bowl with the new ball in the series.Embed from Getty Images
He mixed up the length really well. His slower bouncers troubled Malan a lot in this series. It’s a great sign for India as they can now play an extra batsman or an extra bowler according to the given conditions.
Outstanding comeback from Bhuvneshwar Kumar:
Bhuvneshwar Kumar has struggled a lot due to his injuries off late. He last played an international game back in 2019 and later got dropped due to injury. He faced the same issue again in the IPL and missed half of the tournament. Bhuvneshwar was then named in the T20I for the England series. It was not expected that Bhuvneshwar would be at his peak considering his fitness issues. But he stunned everyone with his exemplary performance. He ended up with an economy of 3.80 in the last T20I, the next best being 7.80.Embed from Getty Images
Overall, it has been a great series for India as a unit. This team played without a few important players like Bumrah, Jadeja and Shami. Fortunately, Bhuvneshwar led the bowling attack really well and India as a bowling unit performed reasonably well. Defending two consecutive times against one of the best sides certainly boosts the confidence. The Indian players will hopefully carry this confidence to the IPL and later convert it into good performances in the World cup.
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