Ind vs Eng: India’s win, Star Players, Penalties, Player Bytes, ICC Verdicts and More

Ishan Kishan’s 32-ball 56 on debut and his 94-run partnership for the second wicket with skipper Virat Kohli (73 not out off 49 balls) in nine overs helped India thrash England by seven wickets in the second T20I at the Narendra Modi Stadium to bring the 5-match series level at 1-1.

Kishan, opening the innings in place of Shikhar Dhawan who was benched, hammered four sixes and five fours in his innings and made easy work of the 165-run target that England had set up.

At the time of his dismissal – leg-before to Adil Rashid, India needed just 71 in 10 overs.

If England thought that they were back, Rishabh Pant (26 off 13), another big-hitter, joined Kohli and the two added 36 for the third wicket in just 3.3 overs. By the time of Pant’s dismissal, England were down and out. India reached the target with 13 balls to spare.

India had lost the wicket of K.L. Rahul early in the first over. The Karnataka batsman fell for a duck.

Earlier, the Indian bowlers brought in change of pace towards the end of the England innings to restrict the visitors to 164 for six in 20 overs.

England were coasting along well at 129 for four in 15 overs and looked good at putting up a huge total. However, tight bowling from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Shardul Thakur and Hardik Pandya allowed England to get only 35 runs in the last five overs.

India began well getting rid of Jos Buttler early, in the very first over, but a 63-run partnership between Jason Roy (46 off 35 balls) and Dawid Malan (24 off 23 balls) helped the visitors get back on track.

Jonny Bairstow (20 off 15 balls), captain Eoin Morgan (28 off 20 deliveries) and Ben Stokes (24 off 21 balls) got good starts but just as they were looking to take the total forward with power-hitting, they were dismissed.

Shardul Thakur (2/29) and Washington Sundar (2/29) took two wickets each whereas Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/28) and Yuzvendra Chahal (1/34) took a wicket each.

Brief scores:

England 164/6 in 20 overs (J Roy 46, D Malan 24, E Morgan 28, B Stokes 24, S Thakur 2/29, W sundar 2/29) lost to India 166/3 in 17.5 overs (I Kishan 56, V Kohli 73 not out, R Pant 26)

Rising Star: Ishan Kishan

Ishan Kishan is just 22 but has over six years of first-class cricket behind him as well as five years in the Indian Premier League where he has faced the world’s best bowlers.

So it came as no surprise to either skipper Virat Kohli or any of his other India teammates, like Hardik Pandya and Yuzvendra Chahal, that he scored a 32-ball 56 on international debut, taking on the England bowlers from the start.

The India skipper said after the match that he has seen the left-handed batsman hit international fast bowlers for big sixes in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

“When you play in the IPL with such dominance like he has, against quality bowlers – we have seen him hit international fast bowlers for big sixes,” said Kohli after the match.

Kishan, who plays for Mumbai Indians (MI) in the IPL, has already had a taste of quality international bowlers at the T20 franchise level and therefore felt no nerve while facing the England pace bowlers like Jofra Archer and Sam Curran among others, most of whom also ply their wares in the cash-rich league.

Kishan had, in fact, faced Archer in the IPL last year although for just a few balls. His 516 runs in 14 matches at an average of over 57 in last year’s IPL brought him into contention for the India team although he and Suryakumar Yadav, who too scored plenty of runs for MI, were left out of the tour of Australia.

Both him and Yadav are part of the India T20I team that is playing England now and they are likely to be strong contenders for India’s squad for the T20 World Cup that will be held in October-November this year.

Kishan’s success on debut is testament to the role IPL has played in helping India find match-winners especially in the shortest format.

The likes of Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Jasprit Bumrah, who all will be important for India in the upcoming T20 World Cup, became household names through IPL.

Kishan and Rishabh Pant, although playing plenty of domestic cricket, earned their stripes in the Indian Premier League.

IPL as a supply line to the Indian team is nothing new but its contribution to Indian cricket has increased immensely over the last few years.

Off-spin bowling all-rounder Washington Sundar went to Australia as part of the limited-overs squad but stayed back for the Tests and ended up playing a key role in helping India win the fourth and final Test at the Gabba and with it the series.

Former India batsman Yuvraj Singh gave credit to IPL for giving confidence to young players.

“What a dream debut for @ishankishan51, absolutely fearless about his game ! That’s the beauty of playing IPL at a young age, you just get used to the atmosphere and you go and express your self !!! And skipper is back with some class of his own !!@imVkohli #ENGvIND t20,” Yuvraj tweeted after Sunday’s game.

India head coach Ravi Shastri had said after the second Test in Australia in Melbourne that playing in the IPL had helped Shubman Gill and Mohammed Siraj, the two debutants who showed no nerve back then.

“That’s the brand of cricket we’ve been playing for the last three or four years. I think a lot has to do with the IPL. The fact that they share dressing rooms with international players, they rub shoulders with the best, that complex factor disappears very quickly,” Shastri had said.

Opener Ishan Kishan, who clobbered the England attack to lead India to a seven-wicket win on Sunday, said he wasn’t even aware that he had reached his half-century and it was only captain Virat Kohli’s reminder that made him realise that he had reached the milestone.

“I wasn’t nervous [to raise the bat]. I wasn’t sure if I had reached my fifty. When Virat bhai told me ‘top innings’, that was when I realised [I had reached fifty]. After a fifty, I usually don’t raise my bat, I just raise it a bit. Virat bhai ki peechhe se awaaz aati hai ‘Oye chaaro taraf ghoom ke bat dikha. Sab ko bat dikha, pehla match hai tera. Bohot acchhey!; (I hear Virat addressing me from behind, ‘Raise your bat to the crowd all around the ground. Show your bat to everyone, it is your first match, very good).’ Only then I raised my bat since it seemed like an order,” Kishan said on while speaking to Yuzvendra Chahal.

“I was very happy that I got a chance and there was belief shown on me.. Before the match, I spoke to seniors – Virat, Hardik veryone told me you have to just enjoy. You (Chahal) told me, just play freely like you do in IPL,” added Kishan.

The left-handed batsman added that he learnt a lot while batting with India skipper Kohli.

“Initially, I was struggling to match Virat’s level. The energy he shows after hitting a boundary or taking a double is something I have never experienced before. But I found out the body language you need to succeed, when you play at this level. So I learnt these little things [while batting with Virat Kohli],” the 22-year-old Kishan said.

Ishan Kishan, who hit a half-century on debut to help India beat England by seven wickets in the second T20 International, dedicated his knock to his coach’s dad who died recently.

Kishan, opening the innings, blitzed his way to 56 off 32 deliveries to help his team bring the five-match series level at 1-1 after two games.

“This innings is for my coach’s dad who passed away a few days ago. I was speaking to him (coach) and he wanted me to score a century for his dad,” said Kishan after the match on Sunday.

The left-handed batsman from Jharkhand also thanked the seniors in the India team for backing him.

“Credit goes to my seniors who told me to go and express myself. It is not easy to come and play your first game against a quality side like England. Mumbai Indians taught me a lot and I want to continue the momentum,” added Kishan who also said that he was disappointed for not finishing the match.

The Mumbai Indians batsman was dismissed when India needed just 71 runs in 10 overs.

“I wanted to finish the game and I knew there was a senior player (Virat Kohli) batting superbly at the other end. I was disappointed with the fact that I didn’t finish the game,” he added.

Kishan termed his six off Tom Curran’s first ball (in innings’ sixth over) as the best shot. It was the six that got him rolling. Kishan picked a half-volley from outside the off and hit it over long on boundary.

“The shot that I smashed Tom for a six off his first ball, that was special. I don’t know if I am going to get this feeling again (fifty on debut), but I am really proud and happy. I want to thank all my coaches, seniors and everyone who helped me get to this stage,” he said.

Kohli plays Captain’s knock, heeds AB’s advice

After a disappointing outing in the first match, India skipper Virat Kohli played a patient captain’s innings of 73 not out (off 49 balls) as young power-hitters Ishan Kishan and Rishabh Pant went after the bowling to help India bounce back in the five-match series with a seven-wicket win over England in second T20I here.

Kohli was dismissed early, for a duck in the first match on Friday, as he tried to take on the England bowling early. However, he changed his game on Sunday and was more cautious in his approach before opening up.

“I had to shift the focus back to the basics. I’ve always taken pride in doing the job for the team. So more happy about that than scoring 70-odd. Kept my eye on the ball. The management spoke to me about things,” said Kohli after the match before crediting his knock to a piece of advice from South African batsman and his Royal Challengers Bangalore teammate AB de Villiers.

“I had a special chat with AB de Villiers before this game and he told me just to watch the ball. So I did,” added Kohli.

The India skipper was effusive in his praise of India’s bowlers as well as Kishan, who made a blistering 32-ball 56.

“It was quite a good game for us. I think we ticked all the boxes. Especially, in the first innings, with the ball. To give away only 34 (35) in the last five (overs), it was very smart bowling. Washy (Washington Sundar) had only one left-hander to bowl to and he used the big boundary to the right-handers better,” added Kohli.

“Special mention to Ishan. I tried to do what I could but he just took the game away from the opposition. Quality innings on debut. We’ve seen him hit international fast bowlers for big sixes (in Indian Premier League for Mumbai Indians). He knew he was hitting the ball well but he was calculated, not reckless. Today that counter-attacking innings of his and our partnership was something the team needed,” said Kohli.

The India No. 3 said that the pitch was a bit better to bat in the second innings as the ball was gripping less. But he also felt that England bowled a bit too short.

“It did get a bit better to bat in the second innings. The ball gripped a bit less. Having said that, they bowled too short – it is probably not on, (especially) on that surface,” he added.

He also praised Hardik Pandya for returning to bowling.

“Credit to Hardik that he is bowling at least three overs for us in every game. And for the next 6-8 months period, he has promised he is going to commit everything to being the all-rounder the team needs in all three formats… these kind of players are priceless.”

Couldn’t handle slow-paced pitch: Morgan

England captain Eoin Morgan attributed less pace in the pitch and his batsmen’s inability to handle it as the reason for his team’s seven-wicket loss to India in the second T20 International at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera on Sunday.

England had won the first T20I quite convincingly but this wicket, according to Morgan was different from the one dished out in the first game.

“We were probably in and around par at the half-way stage (England were 91/2 after 11 overs), but India bowled well. This was a different pitch to the one for the first game, less pace in it. They put us on the backfoot from the start and we didn’t have a counter to that, which was disappointing. Pace off the ball is always challenging for the batsmen. I was a little disappointed with the way we played,” said Morgan after the end of the match.

“I thought we would have to bowl well to get over the line. I thought India bowled well.”

England missed the services of Mark Wood, who took 1/20 in his four overs in the first T20I on Friday. Wood is out injured and may not play the next game too.

“You are always going to miss Mark Wood. He is feeling better today so hopefully he’ll be fit for the next game. If not, then for the fourth game. We were prepared coming into the series. The next game is on a red-soil pitch, so probably it is going to turn, but we welcome these challenges,” said Morgan who made 28 off 20 balls.

Pressure builds on Dhawan to retain his spot

Ishan Kishan’s success as opener may put pressure on Shikhar Dhawan to retain his place in the India team ahead of the T20 World Cup that is scheduled to be held in October-November this year in India.

Dhawan, who has been a permanent fixture in India’s white-ball squads, has of late been dabbling between two roles — whether to anchor or play aggressively, both in the Indian team and at his IPL franchise, Delhi Capitals.

The left-handed opener was benched for the second T20 International after making a 12-ball four in the first game which India lost. He was replaced by Kishan, who smashed 56 off 32 balls. It is unlikely that Dhawan will return unless Rohit Sharma, who is due to return for the third game after resting for the first two matches, extends his break. Sharma will likely replace K.L. Rahul while Kishan will continue opening ahead of Dhawan in the third T20I.

Dhawan’s returns in recent matches for India haven’t been disappointing — he helped India chase a 195-run target during the first T20I in Australia with a 36-ball 52. But they haven’t been very good either — there have been multiple failures to convert starts. Such is India’s bench that a few failures, especially to get on top of the bowling, can push one to the fringes.

Prior to lockdown, Dhawan missed the T20I series in New Zealand where both Rohit Sharma and Rahul excelled to become primary contenders to open in T20Is.

Post lockdown, Dhawan was given a chance to return to his position. His returns in T20Is have been 1, 52, 28 and 4 (in the last game).

His inconsistent run in the domestic matches he has played over the last few months has been even more disappointing.

Barring a 153 against Maharashtra, his stint in the recent Vijay Hazare one-dayers was largely unfruitful. His scores in the domestic one-day tournament were 0, 6, 0, 153 and 44. In the Syed Mushtaq Ali T20 tournament that preceded it, he got scores of 23, 5, 77 and 0.

Prior to the Australia tour, Dhawan however had a productive Indian Premier League (IPL) season making 618 runs at an average of over 44 with two centuries and four fifties.

Former India cricketer M.S.K. Prasad, who was chairman of the previous selection committee, however, said that Dhawan cannot be written off in white-ball format.

“Unfortunately he is not getting the runs. But he will definitely be in contention for a spot in the T20 World Cup. He cannot be written off in white ball format. He has been a phenomenal and proven performer,” Prasad told IANS.

Prasad though added that the healthy headache India are facing with youngsters coming in and performing doesn’t allow anyone even if it is the experienced Dhawan to let his guard down.

“At the same time the next brigade is coming, and the bench strength is great. This is a healthy headache. Till recently, Sanju Samson was there. But now he is not. So with so many players coming and performing, you need to keep performing irrespective of the fact that you are a senior or junior,” added Prasad.

“In such an atmosphere, the only way you can keep your place in the eleven is by performing.”

What goes against Dhawan is that he isn’t as flexible as the others and is thus more vulnerable to the axe. Most of the batsmen like Rahul or Virat Kohli or even Rohit Sharma can bat in the middle-order.

Unlike them, Dhawan has always been an opener in white-ball formats and additionally, according to sources close to him, ‘tasked with going after the bowling with Rohit playing the anchor’s role’.

“All these questions arise when someone is not performing or is not matching up to expectations. If he was doing well, this question (of him being one-dimensional) wouldn’t have arisen at all. There are many players in this team who play only as batsman – Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli or Rohit Sharma,” said Prasad.

The ex-chief selector, however, agreed that the others are more flexible.

“I agree, they are all a bit flexible as compared to Dhawan and can adapt to batting positions. KL, Virat have batted in the middle-order. I would still prefer KL in the middle,” he added.

But with time running out, Dhawan may have to prove himself all over again at this year’s IPL. Considering that this is India’s last big international T20I series, an IPL as productive as the one in 2020 can keep him in contention.

“Kishan has shown he belongs to this league. The way he played last year’s IPL and the knock yesterday. It is not easy to keep your place in the face of it. You have to keep performing. The countdown towards the T20 World Cup has begun and selectors will make up their mind,” said Prasad.

Upcoming: India look to slow it down against England in 3rd T20I

Buoyed by an impressive seven-wicket win in the second T20 International, India will take on England in the third game of the five-match series with renewed confidence here at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Tuesday.

The hosts, who had lost the first match by eight wickets, bounced back thanks to impressive bowling in the death overs and power-hitting by debutant opener Ishan Kishan, who made a 32-ball 56.

The third match will be played on a surface that is likely to assist spin bowlers, according to England captain Eoin Morgan.

India bowlers will again look to use the change in pace, a quality that confounded the England batsmen. Only opener Jason Roy could put up something decent, making 46 off 35 deliveries, even as the other batsmen struggled to convert their starts as the Indian bowlers used variations in pace to dismiss them.

If the pitch helps the spin bowlers, there could be a chance of India bringing back Axar Patel into the squad. The left-arm spinner, who was India’s star performer in the Test series with 27 wickets in three Tests, was left out of the squad for the second T20I after he was taken for runs in the first game. But a pitch aiding turn and England’s frailties against him, Patel could be drafted in.

India will most likely see the return of opener Rohit Sharma, who was rested for the first two T20 Internationals. Sharma will replace out-of-form KL Rahul and will open with Mumbai Indians teammate Kishan.

England have a few worries to deal with. With Mark Wood, who paired up with Jofra Archer well in the first T20I, missing the second game due to injury and there being no surety of his availability for the third match, Morgan’s team may draft in Moeen Ali. Pace bowler Tom Curran was expensive and was taken for runs by Kishan.

Ali’s case could also be aided by a pitch that is likely to help the spin bowlers.

Dew will also be a factor, making chasing a bit easy, although Morgan had said that dew wasn’t there in the previous match.

India T20I squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vice-captain), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik, Rishabh Pant (wicketkeeper), Ishan Kishan (wicketkeeper), Yuzvendra Chahal, Varun Chakravarthy, Axar Patel, W Sundar, R Tewatia, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep, Shardul Thakur.

England T20I squad: Eoin Morgan (captain), Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Jonny Bairstow (wicketkeeper), Sam Billings, Jos Buttler (wicketkeeper), Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Chris Jordan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Adil Rashid, Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Reece Topley, Mark Wood.

India fined 20 per cent match fee for slow over-rate

India have been fined 20 per cent of their match fees for maintaining a slow over-rate against England in the second T20 International at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera on Sunday.

Match referee Javagal Srinath imposed the penalty after skipper Virat Kohli’s side was ruled one over short of the target after time allowances were taken into consideration.

“In accordance with Article 2.22 of the ICC Code of Conduct for players and player support personnel, which relates to minimum over-rate offences, players are fined 20 per cent of their match fees for every over their side fails to bowl in the allotted time,” said ICC in a statement.

“Kohli pleaded guilty to the offence and accepted the proposed sanction, so there was no need for a formal hearing,” added the statement.

On-field umpires Anil Chaudhary and K.N. Ananthapadmanabhan, and third umpire Virender Sharma levelled the charge.

India won the second T20I by seven wickets after losing the first T20 International by eight wickets. The third game of the five-match series takes place on 16th March. The fourth and the fifth matches are on March 18 and 20.

India had won the Test series 3-1 which preceded the T20I series.

ICC terms Chennai, Ahmedabad pitches as ‘average’

The International Cricket Council (ICC) has termed the pitches on which the second and third India-England Test matches were played as “average”.

The second Test was played at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai and the third Test was staged at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera near Ahmedabad.

The ICC rates performance of pitches and outfields in six different ways — very good, good, average, below average, poor, and unfit.

While the ICC termed the outfield for the second Test to be “very good”, it was also termed “average” for the third Test. However, the ICC termed the pitch at the Narendra Modi Stadium to be “good” for the fourth Test against England while the outfield rating improved to “very good”.

Both the pitch and the outfield were given “very good” ratings for the first Test at the M.A. Chidambaram Stadium.

Pitches for the second, third and fourth Tests of the four-match series against England had come under significant criticism due to the assistance these offered from the first day. The third Test turned out to be one of the shortest in the history of both teams, with India winning by 10 wickets within two days.

England captain Joe Root, a part-time spin bowler who scored a double century in the first Test, ended up with figures of 5/8, the most economical five-wicket haul by an England player on Day 2 of the third Test in Motera.

While that helped England dismiss India for 145 in reply to their first innings total of 112 in the first session, the visitors were then all out for just 81 runs in the next, leaving India to chase a target of 49 runs. India’s spinners took all 10 wickets with Axar Patel taking five, Ravichandran Ashwin four and Washington Sundar taking a wicket in the only over he bowled.

Both Root and India captain Virat Kohli had differing views on the conditions, though. While Root said that him getting a five-wicket haul says a lot about the pitch, Kohli termed the match as the match as a “bizarre” one where the pitch was good to bat on but the quality of batting from both sides was poor.

“To be honest, I don’t think the quality of batting was at all up to standard from both teams to be honest. They were bundled out and there was lack of application from both the sides. The ball was coming on nicely yesterday and the odd ball was turning and it was a good wicket to bat on in the first innings. The batting was below-par from both sides,” said Kohli after the match.

Meanwhile, a number of former players from both India and England criticised the pitch.

“Finished in 2 days Not sure if that’s good for test cricket !If @anilkumble1074 and @harbhajan_singh bowled on these kind of wickets they would be sitting on a thousand and 800 ???However congratulations to (India) @akshar2026 what a spell! congratulations @ashwinravi99 @ImIshant,” tweeted Yuvraj Singh.

Former England players like Michael Vaughan and Rob Keys said that the pitch was not worthy of Test cricket.

Meanwhile, England spinner Jack Leach said that all the talk of the pitch was only in the media. “They outbowled us on that wicket, Ashwin is a world-class bowler, Axar was very good on that wicket. All the talk has been in the media, in the dressing room, we just talk about getting better,” said Leach.

No crowd for last 3 T20Is due to rise in Covid cases

The final three T20 Internationals between India and England will be hosted behind closed doors due to a rise in Covid-19 cases in Ahmedabad, the Gujarat Cricket Association announced on Monday.

The newly-built Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera was open to 50 per cent crowd capacity for the first two T20 Internationals on Friday and Sunday. It also saw crowds for the third and fourth Test matches. Tuesday’s third T20I will now be held without any crowd.

“Due to increasing number of corona cases, the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) has decided to organise the remaining T20 International matches between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad behind closed doors. The GCA will refund the money to the spectators, who have purchased the tickets for T20Is scheduled on March 16, March 18 and March 20, 2021,” said a statement from the Gujarat Cricket Association.

“Due to rise in the number of corona cases, we at GCA have decided in consultation with BCCI that the matches will be played behind closed doors and not allow the spectators in the ground during T20 Internationals to be played between India and England at Ahmedabad (sic). We will form the policy for refund of money to the spectators, who have already purchased the tickets for these three T20s. Those who have received complimentary tickets are requested not to visit the stadium,” said Dhanraj Nathwani, vice-president, Gujarat Cricket Association.

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