The fifth and last T20I match that was played between India and England was held on the 20th of March, 2021 at the Motera Stadium of Ahmedabad. India won the match by 36 runs, and thus won the T20I series 3-2. India and England are well-known for their rivalry, which dates back to 1932. Team India had played its first international cricket match against England in 1932, and since then the rivalry of the teams has only increased. This was the second series of the England tour of India.
The tour had begun with a four-match test series, which the hosts won 3-1. England was thus quite keen on reclaiming its reputation on Indian soil. On the other hand, the hosts were also keen to prove themselves. Both the teams saw this series as a dry run of the upcoming T20I World Cup in India in October this year. England had begun the series on a good note after defeating India in the first match. In the third match too, England won. After winning the second match, India swept through the last two matches to claim the series. Let us have a look at what exactly happened in the series and the last match.
The last match saw starry performances from multiple players of the Indian team. England won the toss and decided to bowl first. Batting first, India put up a massive total of 225 on the board. India has generally been a team which has been more adept at chasing totals. Therefore, many fans of Indian cricket might have been a bit worried because the team was batting first. However, right from the very beginning, the Indian team looked very positive and confident.
Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli opened the innings. There was no KL Rahul or Ishan Kishan. The opening stand proved to be quite vital. Rohit Sharma scored a blistering half-century and raced to 64 in 34 balls. Virat Kohli remained unbeaten on 80, which came in 52 balls riding on 7 fours and 2 sixes. Both Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya also played well. Yadav scored a quick 32 off 17 balls while Pandya blasted 39 off 17 balls. India put up 224 with 8 wickets at hand.
England on the other hand could not make a very good start to their innings. Opener Jason Roy, who has been in fine form throughout the series, was dismissed for 0. Jos Buttler and Dawid Malan then stitched a vital partnership which was then broken by Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Kumar had also dismissed Jason Roy. Jos Buttler scored 52 off 34 balls while Malan scored 68 off 46 balls. None of the other English batsmen could score more than 15 runs.
The Indian bowlers put up a good display of their might in the second innings. Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up two vital wickets and gave away only 15 runs in his four overs. Shardul Thakur also picked up three wickets while Pandya and Natarajan picked up one wicket each. England’s total came up to 188 with only two wickets remaining in the 20 overs. Virat Kohli, the captain of the Indian team has crowned the man of the match.
India has become the best test team in the world since it won the series against England. It has even qualified for the final of the ICC Test Championship that is supposed to be held in Hampshire Bowl in Southampton in June 2021. Although the ICC points have not been published yet, this series win is certainly going to help the case for India. India and England are known for being the best T20I teams in the world and this series has definitely proven that the former have an edge over the latter.
This series will be succeeded by a three-match ODI series. India shall also be looking to capture that series to become the best ODI team in the world. England on the other hand shall be desperate again to prove its prowess in one-day cricket. This presents an interesting prospect of watching good cricket. These two teams are anyway among the best of the world and so fans are quite excited for the upcoming series as well.
Let us see how the rivalry turns out in the different formats of the game and how this contributes to good cricket, which this entire tour has been presenting the fans with throughout the different series and matches across the various formats of the game.