India comprehensively outclassed England by 49 runs in the second T20 International to win the three-match series with an unbeatable 2-0 lead in Birmingham on Saturday. Rohit Sharma’s inspired leadership and an aggressive brand-new strategy were the key factors.
In their opening innings, India once more displayed a start-to-finish aggressive mindset while reaching 170 for 8 thanks to newcomer Ravindra Jadeja (46 not out off 29 balls), who helped the team recover from a middle-phase collapse on a pitch with lots of pace and bounce.
As England’s batting collapsed for a pitiful 121 in 17 overs, Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s (3/15) new found rhythm in the powerplay overs was wonderfully supplemented by the skillful pair of Jasprit Bumrah (2/10) and Yuzevndra Chahal (2/10).
In both games, India’s batting has been excellent, but the bowling has been just superb, completely dominating the powerplays.
Since he became full-time command, the Indian squad has not yet suffered a defeat. Three clean sweeps have already occurred: against New Zealand (3-0), the West Indies (3-0), and Sri Lanka (3-0). A fourth clean sweep versus England in the current match appears likely.
Three months remain until the World T20, and the playing XI on Saturday provided a preview of the possible batting order and strategy.
The decision to send Rishabh Pant (26 off 15 balls) to start alongside skipper Rohit (31 off 20 balls) is a positive one since it ensures that the team won’t err on the side of caution during powerplay overs.
In the first six overs, they scored seven fours and three sixes between them, a strategy that was lacking in the last T20 World Cup.
The plan is to keep playing even if one end loses wickets. Virat Kohli (1 off 3 balls) succumbed to peer pressure and his poorly timed skier revealed his desperation.
The most impressive part, though, was when India managed to reach 170 despite being 89 for 5. This was because to Jadeja, who had a difficult time in T20 cricket after having a difficult time in CSK during the IPL, when he lost form and damaged relationships.