England captain Eoin Morgan lamented the loss of three crucial wickets lost in the middle-overs besides hailing Team India for being the better side on the day as his side fell to an 8-run defeat in the fourth T20I in Ahmedabad.
With Jonny Bairstow finding his touch after a slow start and Ben Stokes looking in imperious form, England was looking set to take a series-defining lead in the five-match series after the duo had smashed 65 runs in just six overs to take the total to 3-131 after 14.4 overs.
However, the game changed on its head within the space of the next 9 balls as Rahul Chahar dismissed Bairstow before Shardul Thakur sent Ben Stokes and skipper Eoin Morgan packing in consecutive deliveries.
In the end, Jofra Archer stroked some lusty blows off Shardul, but as Eoin Morgan said, it was too much for the bowlers to do against a ‘top-class team’.
“India played better than us tonight and thoroughly deserved to win, but the game did ebb and flow. Our journey, trying to learn as much as we can before the World Cup, is important. We were very happy at halfway, and were in control for a long time. Overs 16-17, we lost three wickets in 7-8 balls which is too much against a quality side like this.” said Eoin Morgan at the post-match conference.
Morgan, however, was full of praise for Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow for the manner in which they launched a calculated assault on the Indian bowlers.
With the ball getting wet, Stokes and Bairstow took Washington Sundar and Rahul Chahar to the cleaners during a frenetic four-over showdown.
With the series locked at 2-2, Eoin Morgan said that England is looking forward to the decider as it gives them a chance to test themselves in a must-win game before the T20 World Cup.
“Bairstow and Stokes did the basics well, got themselves in, they managed to negate [the run rate] over a period of time, got back in the game but frustrating not to have one or two at the end there. This decider is the closest we can get to a World Cup or Champions Trophy. All to play for, and winning away from home is more difficult for various reasons, but it would be great.” he added.