England vs India: 3rd T20I- Who Said What

England vs India: 3rd T20I- Who Said What

Rohit Sharma took the English bowling to the cleaners and scripted the win.

Rohit Sharma hundred
Rohit Sharma of India celebrates reaching his century. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

After a couple of riveting encounters between England and India in Manchester and Cardiff respectively, the series was poised for an exciting finish. The final match at the County Ground in Bristol was expected to be a thriller and it lived up to the hype. It was a high scoring affair and the batsmen dominated the proceedings all the way and it was Virat Kohli and his troops who won the match by 7 wickets and also clinched the series 2-1.

Roy leads the charge

Kohli won the toss and elected to chase under conditions that were best suited for batting. Jason Roy and Jos Buttler played their strokes freely to put 73 runs inside the field restrictions and eventually put on a partnership of 94 runs from 47 balls. The stand was broken when Siddarth Kaul nipped out Buttler for 34 runs. At the other end, Roy accomplished his maiden fifty of the series in 23 balls.

He became Deepak Chahar’s first international wicket. Alex Hales threatened with a few lusty blows, but his knock of 30 runs was cut short by Hardik Pandya. Eoin Morgan, the skipper, couldn’t contribute and was Pandya’s first victim. The hosts lost their way a tad in the death overs and despite Jonny Bairstow’s whirlwind knock of 25 runs, they could only manage 198 runs in 20 overs.

Rohit’s hundred steals series for the Blue Army

The Men in Blue, in their run chase, lost Shikhar Dhawan early to David Willey. KL Rahul couldn’t repeat the heroics from his first match and fell prey to Jake Ball after promising with 19 runs in double quick time. However, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli didn’t throw their wickets away and mixed caution with aggression. The opener brought up his maiden fifty of the series and looked good to get a big score.

Kohli also racked up 43 runs and was dismissed by Chris Jordan courtesy a superb return catch. Pandya joined Rohit in the middle and the duo shouldered India home with eight balls to spare. En route the victory, Rohit also became the second batsman with three T20I tons after New Zealand’s Colin Munro when he accomplished the feat in 56 balls. Hardik Pandya smacked Jordan for a six to bring the curtains down on the contest and the series.

Rohit Sharma, the Player of the Match and Series, said:

That’s the style of my play. Assessing conditions was important at the start of the innings. Once we see off the new ball, we always knew wicket was a good one with short boundaries. Held my shape well. I like to be calm, not to panic too much.

I know once you’re there, you can make it up later. Always important to try and assess the bowlers as well. With four fielders inside, there’s always that option to take chances. Pandya has done that for a few years now. More often than not he’ll play such innings in the back end. The way he bowled gave him confidence. He’s a fearless individual. That’s what the team wants him to do.

Eoin Morgan, England’s captain, said: 

Tremendous start with the bat. Roy and Buttler prove a dominant force at the top, we didn’t do their platform justice. Faltered in execution. Normally it’s one of the best parts of our game. On a small ground on a flat wicket, we’re expected to score more than that.

Difficult to defend on grounds like this. It’s more the conditions. Teams like Pakistan, India, they have a big following and we’re used to it. Hopefully, we can learn as we go along. This series has had three different tests for us. It’s exciting. Trent Bridge has been a good ground for us. The last couple of times we’ve lost the toss there, we’ve been able to get a result.

Virat Kohli, India’s captain, said:

The comeback from the bowlers was outstanding. At one stage we thought they’d end up getting 225-230. But the character they showed, that’s something we’re very proud of. Just hit our areas better I guess. We have the qualities to bowl wicket-taking deliveries as well. 25-30 runs in this format can be massive.

Pandya is a really good all-round cricketer. He’s confident with his skills with bat and ball. The way he came back after his first over is what you want to see as a captain. Was difficult for the bowlers. We enjoyed ourselves as batsmen.

(On not playing Kuldeep) Don’t like to look at hindsight and say we could’ve added another bowler. Guys came up with the good. We’re gonna continue and try different things. You saw the kind of energy and attitude we had on the field. It’s a great way to start the tour.

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