Since the Delhi T20I against South Africa in June, India have resorted to an attacking batting approach, based on going hard at the ball from the word go. Though it didn’t give them the desired results in Delhi and Cuttack, it did pay off in Visakhapatnam and Rajkot.
At Southampton, against England, despite not having many stars in their batting line-up, India put up 198/8, with every batter hitting the ball hard and sending them to boundary rope from the word go. That approach saw them fetch 66 in power-play and despite losing batters frequently, India’s innings never looked in trouble.
The way India batted in their innings left former England skipper Eoin Morgan mighty impressed. “The most impressive thing about India for me (on Thursday) is what they lacked in the group stages of the T20 World Cup, they brought. Every single one of their batsmen came hard at England’s bowlers and that hasn’t happened in previous teams, previous squads that India have produced,” Morgan was quoted as saying by broadcasters Sky Sports after the match.
Morgan was also impressed by all-rounder Hardik Pandya’s brilliance in the match. Coming at number five, Pandya slammed his maiden T20I fifty, 51 off 33 balls, laced with six fours and six. He followed that by picking 4-33 his allotted four overs of right-arm pace rattling England’s explosive batting order.
“He’s got to be up there (as India’s most important players) when he can bowl four overs of 90mph with real control, you look at two of the four wickets he took, Liam Livingstone and Sam Curran, both moved early in their crease and he followed them and that’s not an easy thing to do.
“You have to find the rhythm, your pace, and then to be as accurate as that shows he’s in a really good space. I know having played in sides with genuine all-rounders such as Hardik Pandya, it’s like having two players in one position. For a guy who has been through so much hardship with fitness, can’t bowl, can bowl, to put out a performance as rounded as that is outstanding.”
Morgan further praised India for making England’s life difficult with the new ball, reducing the hosts to 33/4 in 6.1 overs. “Exceptional, the huge difference in both innings was the ball swinging, if you can get the ball to move off the straight in white-ball cricket specifically it’s a game-changer, an absolute game-changer.
“You watched the England top order that is normally unbelievably destructive, do nothing and became a little bit of a target. The bowling was exceptional. Not only the level of swing that they showed, but the accuracy as well, to get somebody like Jos Buttler out first ball with the level of accuracy Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed sometimes you’ve got to say ‘well done’ to the opposition.”
(Inputs from IANS)