India Vs England T20I Talking Points: Hardik Pandya's All-Round Show, Rohit's Return And Jos Buttler's Captaincy Debut
After losing the one-off test against England, India started off the white-ball leg of the tour on a positive note with a convincing 50-run victory against the hosts at the Ageas Bowl. Hardik Pandya did everything a captain could hope for from an all-rounder delivering with bat and ball.
GT's skipper scored a blistering half-century in the first innings before breaking the back of England's famed batting line-up and picking up 4 wickets. Hardik's half-century propelled India to a score of 198 and a collective effort from the bowlers, led by the all-rounder's 4-fer, handed India a massive victory.
Here, we look at some of the talking points from the match.
Deepak Hooda And Surya Kumar Yadav Take Their Chance
With first-team stars like Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant returning to the T20I squad from the second T20I, the management could once again try out some of the fringe players in the batting-order. Deepak Hooda, Ishan Kishan and Surya Kumar Yadav were given the opportunity and were under immense pressure to perform or risk losing their place in the side. While Ishan Kishan did not have a good outing, Deepak Hooda and Surya Kumar Yadav produced a couple of cameos. Hooda scored 33 and Surya Kumar Yadav made a breezy 39. More than the runs, it is the rate at which they are scoring which is getting fans excited with both batters scoring at 194 and 205 respectively.
With both Rohit and Ishan Kishan getting out inside the powerplay, Hooda and Surya Kumar Yadav joined hands in the 5th over and quickly went about their business. Hooda started off with three boundaries off Topley, while Surya hit a couple of fours and a six off Parkinson. The duo formed a good partnership of 43 runs in 23 balls, building on a good start. They have personified India's new approach in the shortest format, going hard at the bowlers from ball one. Even though they still might not make it into India's first XI, they are at least putting up a strong case for their inclusion.
Hardik Pandya Puts Up An All-Round Show
Hardik Pandya has once again shown what India have missed over the last couple of years in his absence as he put in one of the best all-round displays in the history of T20 cricket. While his half-century powered India to 198, his 4-wicket haul in the 2nd innings helped India restrict the hosts.
Coming in at No.5 after the dismissal of Deepa Hooda in the 9th over, the all-rounder stitched up a couple of good partnerships with Surya Kumar Yadav and then Axar Patel. He scored 37 runs in 3 overs with Surya, while he added 51 off 30 deliveries with Axar before getting out after reaching his fifty in the 18th over.
The GT skipper saw the back of a length ball working quite well for the English bowlers and employed it to devastating effect. After bowling a loosener first up, Hardik got his radar right and rattled Dawid Malan's stumps with a length ball. In the same over, Livingstone tried to scoop his short-of-length ball and perished in the process.
He then dismissed a struggling Jason Roy with a short ball outside off and later Sam Curran with the same delivery. Hardik is the first Indian and fifth overall to score a fifty and take 4 wickets in T20 cricket.
Are India A Batsman Short
India once again went in with five genuine bowling options, with three fast bowlers and two spinners. This meant that Axar Patel had to come in at No.6 and in just the 12th over of the game. India have tended to use Dinesh Karthik as a designated finisher, which meant that Axar had to come in ahead of him.
While Axar is decent with the bat, India wouldn't want him to go in at the halfway mark. India's gung ho approach throughout the innings meant that no batsmen could convert their starts and this resulted in a lack of firepower at the death. India scored just 20 runs in their last three overs and although Karthik struck a couple of boundaries, the runs weren't coming from both ends. India had to settle for 198, while they were on course for a 210+ target at the halfway mark.
India's New Ball Bowling
While England's new-ball bowlers couldn't find any swing in the powerplay, both Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Arshdeep Singh were getting prodigious movement. Bhuvneshwar troubled Jason Roy in the first over with an array of outswingers, while he got one to move back in viciously to disturb the stumps of the England captain.
Debutant Arshdeep also swung it a mile as he didn't allow a single run from Jason Roy's bat in the 2nd over. Bhuvneshwar has been particularly impressive in the powerplay this year, taking 10 wickets at an economy of under 5.
Rohit's Return And Buttler's Captaincy Debut
Rohit Sharma returned to the side after missing the test match due to COVID-19 and made an immediate impact with the bat in hand and also with his leadership skills. While he didn't produce a big innings, he scored an entertaining 24 off 14 balls to get India off to a flyer. He made his intentions clear when he came down the track and hit a boundary through mid-off in the very first over. He scored a couple of boundaries off Topley and Moeen Ali before edging one to the wicketkeeper off the off-spinner. His decisions in the 2nd innings were spot on too, like bringing on Hardik Pandya in the powerplay and using the spinners to good effect. India were sloppy on the field with as many as four catches dropped, while Dinesh Karthik missed a couple of easy catches and a stumping.
Meanwhile, Jos Buttler did not have a good outing with the bat and as captain as he lost his first game in charge. His stumps were rattled by a big, booming in-swinger from Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the very first over. From a captaincy perspective, his introduction of Moeen Ali in the powerplay proved to be a masterstroke as he picked up two wickets.
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