Virat Kohli (73 n.o., 49b, 5x4, 3x6) pulled himself out of a mini slump, while Ishan Kishan (56, 32b, 5x4, 4x6) made it a debut to remember in India’s seven-wicket win over England in the second T20 here on Sunday.
Kohli, who had three ducks in his last four international visits to the crease, was back to his stylish self, guiding India past a tricky 165-run target. The captain brought up his 26th T20I fifty with a lovely straight six,walking down the track to pacer Tom Curran.
Kishan, who opened the batting in place of Shikhar Dhawan, was fearless in his strokeplay. He brought the big crowd to its feet with four huge sixes. Two came off successive deliveries from Adil Rashid, but the leg-spinner had the last laugh when he trapped Kishan leg-before in the same over.
The southpaw did receive a reprieve on 40, when Ben Stokes dropped the simplest of chances at long-on. Kishan cashed in, bringing the required rate down to a manageable 7.1 at the time of his dismissal.
Next man Rishabh Pant was keen to keep the momentum going, tonking Rashid into the mid-wicket stands in just the fourth ball he faced. Pant struck another maximum off Chris Jordan, before a helicopter shot
landed in the hands of Bairstow at deep mid-wicket.
Kohli, who completed 3000 T20I runs with this knock, and Shreyas Iyer (8 n.o.) took India home with 13 balls to spare. After being put in, England pushed hard on a slow surface to make a respectable score. Opener Jason Roy (46, 35b, 4x4, 2x6) led the way, followed by useful contributions from David Malan (24), Eoin Morgan (28) and Ben Stokes (24).
Roy relied heavily on the reverse-sweep to counter the spinners Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar. With third-man and point inside the circle, Roy fancied his chances. He got mixed results, often missing, and sometimes making good contact.
Washington fired it in, while Chahal used flight to make it difficult for the batsmen. The Indian pacers, Shardul Thakur in particular, made good use of the slower deliveries. With the ball stopping and keeping low, the visitor found it tough to play the big shots.
The best example of clever bowling came from Thakur, who got Morgan to completely mistime a shot. Morgan committed much too early to a slower length ball outside off, and chipped it high to wicketkeeper Pant.
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Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya did a brilliant job at the death, conceding just 35 runs in the last five overs. Washington and Thakur - both finished with figures of two for 29 - were the most successful bowlers.
The Indian fielding, however, was error-prone. Suryakumar Yadav dropped a catch to give Jonny Bairstow a life on 13, while Bhuvneshwar, Shreyas and Pandya conceded runs with clumsy misfields.
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