Former England captain Michael Atherton has doffed his hat to the Virat Kohli-led Team India for the manner in which they scripted a turnaround to win the five-match series against the No.1 ranked England despite having lost two of the first three matches.
Atherton lauded India’s ability to script a comeback after being pushed to a corner and reckoned that it is their bouncebackability that makes them the biggest threat for other participating nations and a side to beat in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup.
Despite being 1-2 down and losing the toss in the last two games, India scripted yet another comeback as they bucked the trend of sides chasing having an advantage by successfully defending totals in the 4th and 5th T20I.
While in the 4th T20I, the Men in Blue defended 185 courtesy of some outstanding bowling by their seamers, the same happened in the series-decider as Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s spell of 2-15 in four overs on a pitch that saw India hammering 224 and England nearly getting 200 runs, eventually proved to be the difference in the end.
Atherton also pointed to the fact that India’s depth is incredible in T20 cricket given the fact that they overcame England despite the absence of Jasprit Bumrah, Ravindra Jadeja, and Mohammed Shami
“I think so. They probably have more strength in depth because of the IPL and the T20 cricket they play and the fact they have just beaten England without probably three main bowlers,” Michael Atherton said.
“Put all those things together, and the fact they are playing at home, then they are the team to beat. It won’t be a cakewalk – England are a very good side and West Indies and other sides are dangerous as well – but if you priced it up, India are favourites,” he added.
India won the final T20I by 36 runs to win the series 3-2, their third consecutive bilateral T20I series win against England since the 2016 T20 WC, something no one other team has achieved even once against the No.1 ranked side in the world during the same period.
As far as Virat Kohli’s men’s bouncebackability is concerned, this is the home sides’ third consecutive series win in which they lost the first match, the previous two being the Test series wins in Australia and against England.