Ahmedabad: Being the last T20I series played before the mega ICC T20 World Cup, both India and England were planning to get the combinations right into the mega event. While England had their full-strength squad playing, India had to miss out on Bumrah and Jadeja’s services as they were out of the series due to personal and injury reasons, respectively. Adding to it, India has opted to rest Rohit, which meant India wasn’t playing a full-strength squad.
English bowlers restrict India with disciplined bowling attack
England won the toss and chose to bowl first as they expected dew to play a significant role during the second innings. The English team had the 2nd innings advantage. Their first innings was also an advantage as English bowlers were on fire. They were right on the top from the first ball as they dominated the match entirely with a disciplined bowling attack. Rahul was the first victim as he dragged a wide-off ball onto the stumps. Kohli failed once again as he scored a second consecutive duck for the first time in his international career. Dhawan missed a slog off Wood, and the ball disturbed the stumps to see Dhawan back in the hut. India’s top 3 were back in the pavilion inside the power play.
Iyer and Rishab took the responsibility to re-build the innings. Pant, frustrated with some disciplined bowling, holed out to Bairstow off Stokes. Even Hardik couldn’t swing his arms freely, but Iyer’s timely boundaries ensured that India was not too dominated by the visitors. Hardik was dismissed in the 18th over. Iyer had to go for big hits to get a respectable total and perished in the final over in the process. Axar’s boundary on the penultimate ball of the innings helped India’s score cross 120. India scored 124 runs from their quota of 20 overs.
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India outplayed in all the 3 departments
Chasing a below-par score, England were never under pressure. Indian fielding lapses only helped England’s cause. While Roy took on the Indian bowlers, Buttler played the anchor role. Buttler departed after adding 72 runs to the first wicket, and England’s victory was never a doubt unless some miracle occurs. Four overs later, Sundar trapped Roy in front of stumps when he was on 49, spoiling his party. Malan and Bairstow saw off the formalities to seal the victory. England won with 27 balls to spare and by a margin of 8 wickets.
Archer was awarded Man of the Match for his three-wicket haul. He accounted for Rahul, Hardik, and Shardul, out of which Hardik and Shardul were dismissed in consecutive deliveries.
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