England have begun the five-match T20I series on a roll thrashing India by eight wickets to go 1-0 up at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad. The English bowlers restricted the star-studded Indian batting to 124 runs before chasing down the total in just 15.3 overs banking on good shows from Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, and Jonny Bairstow.
Chasing a below-par total, Jason Roy and Jos Buttler started in typical fashion and took the game away from India inside the first six overs. They were positive and in control of their gameplay even against the spinners to add 72 runs for the first wicket in just eight overs to set the platform. Buttler departed after a well-made 28-run knock but No.1 T20I batsman Dawid Malan and Roy carried on the good work. Roy departed one short of a half-century but Jonny Bairstow and Malan ensured they ran away with the victory with eight wickets to spare.
England go 1-0 up in the series
Earlier in the day, it was a good toss to win for Eoin Morgan as England bowlers executed the plans to perfection. They reduced India to 22 for three in the Powerplay with the gun batters already back in the hut which sums up India’s day at work. Shreyas Iyer did some revival work but he lacked partners on the other end and only managed to post 123 runs which was a cakewalk at the end of the day for England. Jofra Archer starred with the ball for England returning with three wickets.
Speaking at the end of the game, England batsman Jason Roy admitted that it was a good victory to start the series for them. Roy set the platform for the visitors with a 49-run knock from 32 deliveries including four boundaries and three towering sixes.
Happy to start with a win. I’ll take 49 and a comfortable victory for the team any day. The way we fielded was pleasing – I have fallen to a few bowlers of various types (be it fast-medium, leg-spin or slow left-arm othodox), but have batted against Adil Rashid in the nets. That did help me. You learn every time you play a game, with the number of games we’re playing, it should help me. He was striking the ball beautifully, looked in great shape (on Buttler).
Speaking at the end of the game, India skipper Virat Kohli admitted that they were not up to the mark as a batting unit. However, he is confident of his teammates to come back stronger in the coming four games and bounce back in the series. But Kohli hinted that they will continue to experiment with the side as a part of the preparation of the T20 World Cup.
We just weren’t aware enough of what to do on that kind of pitch. Lack of execution of some of the shots. We have to come back with much more intent and clarity of plan. The wicket did not allow you to play the kind of shots you wanted to. It was a below par batting performance and England made us pay. We looked to try few things but as a batting side you have to accept that we didn’t bat well. Shreyas batted well but we did not have enough runs on the board. It is part of a journey of international cricket. You will have your ups and down but you have to back your game. For me it is about going out there and be positive. We take a lot of pride in playing good white-ball cricket, we have won the previous series and the series before that. We just have these five games before the T20 World Cup, so we need to experiment but having said that, we have to ensure we don’t take things lightly.
On the other hand, England skipper Eoin Morgan was happy with how the match unfolded against a strong Indian side. He also added that it was a plan to unleash two fast bowlers have a go at the Indian batsmen which paid dividends as the hosts were reduced for 22 for three at the end of the powerplay from where they never managed to turn around.
That was certainly the intention. Jofra can bowl fast but Mark Wood can bowl super fast. The wicket was as expected. The plans were very basic – to bowl on a length and straight. There is a huge amount of competition within side and it is a huge boost for anyone scoring runs. It is a completely different format of the game. We have been on tours, where the white-ball guys have played first and not played well and likewise. He (Wood) is excellent, like our batting unit our bowling unit has competition for places. We will be up against it a lot of times and it is important to produce your best.
Meanwhile, Jofra Archer was awarded the man of the match award for his brilliant spell of three from 23 including a maiden which is also his best figure for England in the shortest format. Talking about his plan, the Barbados-born fast bowler revealed that he tries to bowl dot deliveries instead of going for wickets.
When the competition is tough you step up and competition brings out the best in me. In the England set up there are world class bowlers. I rather go for dot balls than wickets in the powerplay and if I get wickets it is a bonus. Usually for a new batter or you have the bigger side you bowl the short ball. Everything has been very good.