The re-surfaced Bengaluru pitch had everything in it to produce another frenetic scoring game with what required was a minuscule of application from the batters. However, it was leg spinner Yuzvendra Chahal who spun a web and won the match for India.
Sportwalk takes a closer look at the details of the run feast that could, and should have been.
Raina steadies the ship after Kohli falls early
After losing the toss and asked to bat first, India had a shaky start when Virat Kohli’s innings was cut-short with a mix up from Rahul.
Raina’s typical inside-out six over extra cover gave the much needed momentum to the Indian batsmen. With the ball coming on to the bat easy and nice, anything with pace and little room to swing the arms was dispatched. Rahul opened up after a quite start with a couple of boundaries and a towering six which went out of the park.
The talks surrounding poor umpiring decision in the series have got another reason to intensify after replays showed that Ben Stokes crossed the crease for the ball that got Rahul’s wicket. Isn’t the game of cricket, a great leveler?
Yuvraj and Dhoni push the score past 200
Dhoni was promoted up the order to increase the run rate and the former skipper did just that. Raina was caught at extra cover after setting up the stage for the lower-middle order to slog. Dhoni found the fence regularly and brought up his half century, surprisingly, his first in International T20s. Yuvraj’s whirlwind cameo, with 23 of 18th over from Jordan, came to an end with a well-executed back of the hand slower one from Tymal Mills. Rookie Rishabh Pant managed a boundary and Pandya launched a six in the final over as India finished with a par score of just over 200.
Morgan and Roy flatter to deceive
With the kind of batting line up that they possess, it was hard not to bet on England batters, but those who did, surely would have lost a few bucks. England didn’t get the best of starts with Billings caught at slip for naught off Yuzvendra Chahal. Root and Roy did well to take their team out of shambles, but with the required run rate going up alarmingly, the former lost his nerve and top-edged a well tossed up delivery from Mishra.
Skipper Morgan, who has led from the front right through the ODI and T20I series, then threatened to take the game away from India, building a partnership with Root, marauding the bowlers from both ends.
Yuzvendra Chahal weaves an indecipherable web
It was Chahal who gave the much needed breakthrough by removing Morgan, and he didn’t just stop there. After shooting from the hip when he failed to dislodge the stumps which was at a hand’s distance and Jason Roy fumbling half way through the pitch, it was a Chahal show all the way.
Root was caught in the crease with a flipper, Ali was caught at long-on, Stokes was caught expertly by Raina at deep mid-wicket to complete Chahal’s five wicket haul and Jordan gifted him his sixth.
The experience of playing IPL for Bengaluru held Yuzvendra Chahal in good stead as he earned his first man of the match in T20 Internationals. Bumrah brought the curtains down on the Engalnd innings with a 3- wicket haul. England imploded from a well positioned 119/2 to 127/10 in a span of 18 minutes, handing India the only series that they came close to winning on an otherwise hapless tour.
India: 202/6 (20/20 ov)
Raina: 63 (45), Dhoni: 56 (36)
Mills : 1-31
England: 127 (16.3/20 ov)
Root: 42 (37), Morgan: 40 (21)