About the Match
England took a 1-0 series lead with a glorious win against India in the first T20 by 7 wickets; the two teams will now lock horns in the 2nd T20 at Nagpur on 29th January, wherein the visitors will try to repeat their winning performance and take the series. India on the other hand faces a must-win situation, and it needs to be seen if the hosts can overcome the pressure to stay alive. The men in blue could muster only 147 runs batting first, which the English chased down easily with 11 balls to spare. The contest on Sunday will surely be a thrilling one; whichever team can execute the game plan to perfection will be better placed to win.
The top-order put up a dismal show after hard-hitters like Kohli, KL Rahul and Yuvraj Singh fell quickly in the first 10 overs; Suresh Raina and Dhoni tried to stabilize the innings with 30+ runs each but they could put up only 147 runs in the end. The bowlers too had a bad day with speedsters like Nehra, Bumrah and Hardik Pandya failing to provide any breakthroughs. Although spinner Chahal took 2-27 in 4 overs and Pervez Rasool dismissed the English captain, the others couldn’t stop the visitors from hitting the winning runs.
The batting line-up has experienced players like Dhoni, Kohli, Raina and Yuvraj Singh, who can do well in the upcoming game to keep the team afloat. Youngsters Rahul, Manish Pandey and all-rounders like Pandya and Bumrah could try to keep the scoreboard ticking provided they manage to keep the wickets in hand.
With a good combination of fast-bowlers and spinners, the hosts could try to exploit the ground conditions here and make a comeback; Kohli could lead from the front with the bat and give a tougher challenge to the English bowlers.
A brilliant performance by spinner Moeen Ali, who took 2 crucial wickets in the first match, set up the foundation for an England victory; he dismissed the dangerous looking Kohli and a strong middle-order batsman Manish Pandey to stifle the hosts at 147 batting first. He was supported well by fast-bowlers Stokes, Jordan, Plunkett and TS Mills, who took one scalp each in regular intervals, and the batsmen then chased down the target convincingly.
Eoin Morgan led from the front with a superb 51 off 38 while Joe Root, Sam Billings and Roy kept the runs flowing right from the start of the chase. They ensured to keep up the pressure on the Indian bowlers and crossed the finish line with 11 balls to spare. The team has put up an all-round performance and look geared up to once again strangle the Indian contingent.
Overall, they have good resources with bat and ball, who could come out with all their firepower to dominate the hosts at Nagpur too.
The visitors enjoy an upper hand here with a convincing victory in the first match but they would approach the Indians cautiously on Sunday; the men in blue has a deep batting line-up while the fast-bowlers would be eagerly waiting for their revenge. The match could see some ups and downs on both sides but we feel that India, presently in a do-or-die situation, could up its ante and win the contest to draw level.