India vs England, 2021: 5th T20I – Who Said What

India vs England, 2021: 5th T20I – Who Said What

Put to bat first, India sprung a pleasant surprise for the fans as Indian skipper Virat Kohli walked in the middle to open the innings with vice-captain Rohit Sharma

Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli
Hardik Pandya and Virat Kohli. (Photo by Surjeet Yadav/Getty Images)

India finally wins the T20I series! The last T20 International of the five-match series between two cricketing superpowers India and England witnessed a thrilling affair as both teams gave their best effort to clinch the series. Put to bat first, India sprung a pleasant surprise for the fans as Indian skipper Virat Kohli walked in the middle to open the innings with vice-captain Rohit Sharma.

The decision was inspired by the fact that India decided to rest out-of-form KL Rahul to make way for a sixth bowler in the form of left-arm quick T Natarajan. Both Virat and Rohit were at their fluent best with the willow as they stitched a match-defining partnership of 94 runs within 9 overs.

This was followed by Kohli playing an anchoring role as Suryakumar Yadav went berserk and scored 32 off just 17 balls. The last 7 overs witnessed the carnage from skipper Kohli and all-rounder, Hardik Pandya, as the two together took India’s total to 224 for 2 in 20 overs. Virat Kohli emerged as the highest run-getter with 80 runs from 52 deliveries while Hardik scored a whopping 39 off 17.

Bhuvneshwar Kumar takes India home

Chasing a humongous target of 225, England succumbed to a disastrous start as they lost their opening batsman Jason Roy for a duck off Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the first over. However, the stunning duo of Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan helped the visitors make a comeback as they both scored half-centuries to take England to a total of 130 in 12 overs. 

This resulted in Virat Kohli handing the ball to his trusted bowler Bhuvneshswar Kumar and he returned with a much-awaited wicket of Buttler. After that, there was a series of wickets for India as Shardul Thakur picked as many as three wickets while T Natarajan and Hardik Pandya had one each under their belt. Thus, the Men in Blue registered a victory by 36 runs.

England skipper, Eoin Morgan said

Playing against a strong Indian team in their conditions was fantastic. Another fantastic game today. India outplayed us in big moments and deserved to win. We’ve played some good cricket through the series too. So lots of positives for us. We bat quite deep, and we tend to take advantage of that. Big moments in this series came when we weren’t able to take advantage of that with our middle order. Always feel we have the talent in the changing room to give it a crack. Today wasn’t our day. One of our huge plusses has been the powerplay bowling in most games. Have to commend Adil Rashid for taking on the new role. Gives us a new option. Not really (any concerns).

Player of the Match, Bhuvneshwar Kumar said

Always good to be back. Always good to contribute to the team’s win. All good body wise. Was confident because I played the domestic matches. When you get a wicket in the first over with the inswingers, always gives you joy and confidence.

India skipper, Virat Kohli said

It was a complete game for us. Totally outplayed the opposition. Even with so much dew coming in, like last game we’ve defended the total again. Today was a complete game. Despite Riahabh and Iyer not getting a chance we put on 225. Testimony to our batting depth. Today Rohit and me were both positive in our intent. We knew we could trust each other and one of us can play second fiddle if one takes off. Today it was classic Rohit Sharma. And then Surya coming in at three and taking the game even further away. Then Hardik finishing it.

I am going to open in the IPL as well. Have batted in different positions in the past. But I feel we have a solid middle order now. Will definitely like to partner Rohit at the top. Other guys feel a lot more confident when one of us is still in and is set. Augurs well for the team. Also how Shreyas batted in the last game and the responsibility he showed in the first game. Ishan was brilliant. I was particularly pleased with Surya. Bhuvi coming back and bowling like that. Still have Jassi to come back. Don’t have much in terms of negatives. Pant showed a lot of maturity through the series as well.

Confidence level of Thakur after that series in Australia is sky high. WIth the ball his strength is his belief. Proper cricketer. Giving us runs with the bat as well. Just found out we might have some more (T20Is).