Jos Buttler had a field day in the third T20I between India and England at the Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera, Ahmedabad, as the visitors beat the hosts to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series. England had won the toss and asked India to bat first on a pitch that helped their two ultra-fast bowlers.
Mark Wood and Jofra Archer troubled the Indian batsmen with pace, with Wood removing KL Rahul for a duck in the first over of the third T20I. Even Rohit Sharma, one of the better players of the short ball, looked uneasy during his 15-run innings. India managed to make just 156/6, that too thanks to Virat Kohli’s 77* with 4 sixes and 8 fours in 46 balls and Rishabh Pant’s 25 runs.
England chased the total down with ease despite losing Jason Roy for 9 runs. Jos Buttler and Jonny Bairstow dominated the Indian bowlers adding 71 runs for the third wicket. Buttler showed special affinity to Indian leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, repeatedly reverse-sweeping him and throwing him off his line and length.
I Felt It Was A Great Opportunity To Try And Attack Yuzvendra Chahal: Jos Buttler
Jos Buttler scored his T20I career-best 83* with 4 sixes and 5 fours, while Jonny Bairstow made 40* with 5 fours as England achieved the target with 10 balls to spare and 8 wickets in hand. This win also gave the visitors a lead of 2-1 with two more matches to go.
“I felt it was a great opportunity to try and attack him (Chahal), ball swung a little bit for seamers so I thought the best time to attack spin would be in the powerplay, and probably the fact that he had success against me he might not expect me to attack him. I felt the right thing to and I was confident to take him on. I took a couple of risks that came off and it set me up on my way,” said Buttler in a virtual press conference after England’s 8-wicket win.
The England keeper-batsman also admitted that reverse-sweeping Yuzvendra Chahal was something he had pre-planned, and was confident enough to pull it off.
“Yes, I think so. (On him reverse sweeping Chahal) in certain times. He is a fantastic bowler, he has a lot of success in T20 cricket. I think we naturally have in our side the guys who are good exponents of a reverse sweep. So naturally, we are gonna play that shot and it has become a big positive in T20 cricket. You got that in your armory. So it is about guys backing their options and going for that and trying to put pressure back on the bowlers,” he added.
The fourth T20I of the five-match series will be played on March 18 and India will need to win it to keep the series alive.