IND vs ENG: Kohli, Rohit, Bhuvneshwar star in India's series win

IND vs ENG: India racked up a mammoth 224 for two in 20 overs, leaving England with a mountain to climb. The visitors crumbled in the chase to fall to a 36-run defeat.

India celebrates the wicket of England's Jonny Bairstow.   -  BCCI/Sportzpics

In the first four matches of the series, India tried three opening combinations with little success. In the decisive fifth T20 rubber here on Saturday, skipper Virat Kohli made yet another change, opting to take first strike himself.

The move worked, as the home side rode on stellar knocks from Kohli (80 n.o., 52b, 7x4, 2x6) and his partner Rohit Sharma 64 (34b, 4x4, 5x6) to post a 36-run win over England.

AS IT HAPPENED

India racked up a mammoth 224 for two in 20 overs, leaving England with a mountain to climb. In reply, the visitor stayed in contention thanks to a rapid 130-run second-wicket partnership between Dawid
Malan (68, 46b, 9x4, 2x6) and Jos Buttler (52, 34b, 2x4, 4x6). The turning point came when fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar dismissed Buttler with a slower ball in the 13th over. England lost all momentum a couple of overs later, when Shardul Thakur foxed Jonny Bairstow and Malan with a cutter and knuckleball, respectively.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar finished with figures of 2/15 from his four overs. - BCCI/Sportzpics



Earlier, an aggressive Rohit got into the groove with two spanking straight drives off pacer Mark Wood. When Wood tried to bang it short, he was pulled for huge sixes by Rohit and Kohli.

With Rohit going great guns, Kohli was happy to play second fiddle. It took a slower ball from Stokes to cut Rohit’s essay short. The openers had scored 94 runs in nine overs - the best first-wicket stand of the
series.

Next man Suryakumar Yadav, fresh from his exploits in the previous outing, started in typically blazing fashion. Facing his second ball, Suryakumar tonked leg spinner Adil Rashid for a straight six, and in the next delivery, went inside out over extra-cover for another maximum.

Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli put on a 94-run opening wicket stand for India against England. - GETTY IMAGES



An exceptional catch by Chris Jordan brought an end to Suryakumar’s entertaining 17-ball 32. Jordan sprinted after a high ball from long-on towards mid-wicket, took the catch with his right hand, and
lobbed it to Jason Roy before stepping over the fence. It was modern-day fielding gymnastics of the highest standard.

Kohli, in the company of Hardik Pandya (39 n.o., 17b, 3x4, 2x6), lifted the scoring rate in the final overs. The captain finished with his highest score in six appearances as a T20I opener, going past his previous best of 39 made against West Indies in 2017.

At the end of the match, Kohli said, "I will open in the IPL. I have batted in different positions in the
past, but I feel we have a solid middle order now. I would definitely like to partner Rohit Sharma at the top."

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