The India vs England T20I series was built up as one of the classics as the top two sides of the world took on each other at a venue where the World Cup final will take place in November. Virat Kohli’s team came out on top in a hotly contested series 3-2. There are plenty of talking points from this five-match T20I series and here we’ve tried to consolidate them into four major points.
VIRAT KOHLI SHOWS HE MEANS BUSINESS
There was plenty of talk about Virat Kohli’s role in this T20 side after he had a substandard Indian T20 League in 2020. Credit needs to be given to Kohli, he kept his ego aside and did a fantastic job for the team all throughout the series. He ended up with 231 runs in these five matches at a stupendous average of 115.50 and more than a handy strike rate of 147.13. He kept changing his position in the batting order in order to try out new combinations but nothing seemed to disturb his one-track mind. He won his seventh Man of the Series Award in T20Is which is more than anybody in world cricket.
BHUVNESHWAR KUMAR IS BACK
The ever-reliant Bhuvneshwar Kumar was making a comeback in the squad after a long gap and he showed exactly what the team missed when he was out. He seemed back to his best and was ready to do the tough job for the team. He bowled in the powerplay overs against arguably two of the most lethal openers in the format and came back to bowl a couple of overs in the death to seal the game for his side. His spell in the fifth T20I was absolutely outstanding and in a run-fest Bhuvi gave away just 15 runs and bagged 2 wickets. He was rightly awarded the Man of the Match Award in the series decider.
IS THERE A BETTER BOUNDARY HITTER THAN SKY?
Suryakumar Yadav has waited long and hard to get that coveted India cap. He made this opportunity count as he made an instant impact on the team. He was one of the X-factor players coming into the series and did his reputation no harm with the two blazing innings he managed to put together in the fourth and the fifth T20I. The beauty of Surya’s batting is the ease with which he manages to pierce the gap for a four. It’s like there’s an in-built GPS system in his brain and he knows exactly where the gaps are on the cricket field.
ENGLAND NEEDS TO RETHINK THEIR MIDDLE ORDER
There’s no doubt that England will take plenty of positives from this T20I series but there remains a few concerns to ponder on for the English camp. The team has a lot of depth in their batting order but in a T20 game, you need your top six batters to win you the game on most occasions. That’s where England are struggling, Ben Stokes at number six isn’t getting enough balls in the middle and is getting wasted. Someone of Sam Curran’s six-hitting ability came to bat at number 9 and that is baffling. Dawid Malan may be the number one T20I batsman but he doesn’t strike at the rate you want your number three to strike at in T20 cricket. In the fifth T20I where you needed your batters to strike at 155 and beyond, Malan only managed to score 68 off 46 balls and was the slowest batsman from both sides who scored 15 runs and more in the match. By the time Ben Stokes and Eoin Morgan came to the middle the match was all but over. This is a big concern for the English team and they will look to sort it out before the World Cup.
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