India started off their T20I campaign against England with a crushing loss as England took a 1-0 lead with an 8-wicket win at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Friday.
It was more of a damp squib that we witnessed, both in batting and bowling. After getting restricted to just 124-7 runs, the bowlers could do very little to stop the likes of Jason Roy (49 off 32), Dawid Malan (24* off 20) Jos Buttler (28 off 24) and Jonny Bairstow (26*) from chasing down the required total. Roy, who went unsold in the IPL, was in exquisite form and it felt like he was out there to send a strong message out to the franchises.
India’s choice of Playing XI came under criticism on social media after Skipper Virat Kohli decided to rest Rohit Sharma. Their batting never really took off as none of the top or middle order players clicked, barring Shreyas Iyer, who provided some momentum with a fine 48-ball 67. Rishabh Pant (21 off 23) and Hardik Pandya (19 off 21) were the other two players to have hit the double figures.
Virat Kohli will be resting too : Rohit Sharma https://t.co/8cswiRYiFg— Trendulkar (@Trendulkar) March 12, 2021
India were in for a shock early in the game when they lost KL Rahul (1) and Kohli (0) in two consecutive overs. From 3-2, India never really recovered as wickets kept tumbling. Shikhar Dhawan, who made the team in place of Rohit, was dismissed for just 4 runs. A lot was being expected from Pant after his stellar show in the Tests but despite getting a good start, which included his incredible reverse scoop shot, he could not convert it into a bigger score.
Pandya and Iyer stitched the highest partnership of the Indian innings (54 off 44) to propel the hosts past the 100-run mark but it was too little too late for India to get anywhere close to a decent total.
After the loss, Virat Kohli said, “We weren't aware of what we had to do on that pitch. We played our shots without understanding the depth of the wicket. It was just lack of execution on our shots that failed us. Shreyas understood the track and played well but we had just lost too many wickets to recover.”
“We have just these games before the World Cup and we need to try out a few things but having said that we need to accept your faults. We must not take England lightly,” added Kohli.
India had lost their opening match in the Test series too and then bounced back beautifully. Will the T20Is repeat a similar story? We will have to wait till Sunday to find out the answer when they play England in the 2nd T20I of the 5-match series.