India Vs England 2021: Twitter Reacts As Team India Successfully Defends 185 To Enforce A Series-Decider

India Vs England 2021: Twitter Reacts As Team India Successfully Defends 185 To Enforce A Series-Decider

Hardik Pandya, India, England
Hardik Pandya registered figures of 2-16. [Image-Twitter]

An exquisite batting display by Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer backed up by brilliant bowling performance-led by Shardul Thakur and Hardik Pandya has helped Team India to draw level the five-match series as they successfully defended 185 to win the 4th T20I by 8 runs.

Defending 185, Team India got off to a good start as Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled a maiden first over and backed it up with the wicket of the dangerous Jos Buttler.

India, England
Jos Buttler was dismissed by Bhuvneshwar Kumar [Image-BCCI]
Bhuvneshwar undid Buttler for the second time in the series, this time with a leg-cutter as the English opener mistimed the flick and lobbed it straight in the air with KL Rahul making no mistake at mid-off.

Jason Roy and Dawid Malan struggled against the chance of pace strategy employed by the Indian seamers as England managed just 31 runs in the first five.

However, Roy took full toll on Washington Sundar as the opener smoked him for a six and a couple of boundaries to ensure that England finished at 1/48 after the first six.

Dawid Malan, Rahul Chahar
Rahyl Chahar dismisses Dawid Malan [Image-BCCI]
Dawid Malan’s (14 off 17) struggle in the series and especially against spinners continued as he fell to Rahul Chahar, this time courtesy an ill-fated reverse-sweep.

One wicket brought two for India as Hardik Pandya was eventually rewarded for his consistent use of slow bouncers and change-of-pace deliveries as Jason Roy (40 off 27) mistimed an attempted pull giving Suryakumar Yadav an easy catch at midwicket. England 3-66 after 9.

India, England
Ben Stokes [Image-BCCI]
However, with the ball getting heavily wet due to dew, Indian spinners found it tough to grip the ball and the duo of Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow ensured that they took full toll. Ben Stokes laid into Sundar and Chahar by smoking them for two fours and as many sixes before Jonny Bairstow joined the party as he took Sundar for two fours and six in the 14th over as England raced their way to 3-118 after 14.

Stokes smashed a four and a six off Rahul Chahar in the next over before the leg-spinner finally broke the onslaught as Jonny Bairstow (25 off 19) mistimed the hoike to give an easy catch to Washington Sundar at point.

India Vs England 2021: Twitter Reacts As Team India Successfully Defends 185 To Enforce A Series-Decider
Shardul Thakur[Image-BCCI]
But with Ben Stokes (46 off 23) looking in menacing form, India desperately needed his wicket to have any chance of making a comeback. Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled a brilliant 16th over in which he gave away just eight tuns. But the game-changing moment came in the next bowler bowled by Shardul Thakur, who induced mistimes strokes from both Ben Stokes and Eoin Morgan courtesy his clever off-cutters on successive deliveries to peg England back big time.

Hardik Pandya backed Shardul’s over with another brilliant six balls as he once again constantly employed change of pace and slow bouncers before eventually knocking over Sam Curran. Pandya registered his spell in T20I cricket as he finished with figures of 2-16 in four overs. With 33 needed off 12 balls, England needed a cameo from either Jofra Archer or Chris Jordan and it nearly came from the former, who smashed Thakur for consecutive sixes in the last over.

Archer’s onslaught brought Shardul under immense pressure as he bowled consecutive wide balls but the seamer came back brilliantly to dismiss Jordan and ensure India assume parity in the five-match series.

 

India racked up 8-185 thanks to whirlwind knocks from Suryakumar Yadav and Shreyas Iyer

Batting first, India couldn’t have asked for a better start as Rohit Sharma smashed Adil Rashid for a six over his head on the very first delivery of the innings. Sharma, who also became the second Indian to rack up 9000 T20 runs, became the first India to smash a six off the very first ball of a T20I inning. Rohit backed it up with a flick past fine-leg for a boundary as India raced to 10 in just three balls, the same score that they had managed in three overs in the first and second T20I.

All eyes were on KL Rahul though.

And, the No.4 ranked T20I batsman looked right on the money as he looked more assured in his defense and footwork. Rahul stroked a sumptuous square-drive to notch up his first boundary of the series.

However, just as it looked that the openers were looking prime to get India off to a flier, Jofra Archer broke the 19-run-stand when he befuddled Sharma with a 124 kph leg-cutter, who ended up giving an easy catch to the bowler.

Suryakumar Yadav
Suryakumar Yadav [Image-BCCI]
Suryakumar Yadav announced his arrival to the International arena with an audacious six off Jofra Archer, where he got inside the line of the ball and with one foot off the ground, he audaciously smoked it over deep fine-leg. And, if that wasn’t enough, he proceeded to punch off the backfoot for a boundary off Mark Wood in the next over.

Yadav continued to play exquisite strokes as India moved to 1/59 in 7 overs. However, England hit back as Chris Jordan dismissed KL Rahul, who failed to clear the infield while driving on the up, and Adil Rashid claimed the big fish in Virat Kohli, who was stumped for a 5-ball 1.

The next four overs saw India manage just 21 runs as SKY and Pant looked to rebuild the innings. Yadav, however, was imperious against Adil Rashid. After having swept the leggie for a boundary in the initial phase of his innings, he proceeded to slog-sweep the leg-spinner for another boundary in the 12th over to break the shackles.

And, he backed it up with a cut past backward point to bring up his maiden T20I fifty in his debut innings. It eventually took a ridiculous on-field decision by the umpire where it was clearly evident that the catch claimed by Dawid Malan at deep fine-leg wasn’t conclusive.

India, England
Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant [Image-BCCI]
That said, Shreyas Iyer played an outstanding knock of 18-ball 37 and he along with Rishabh Pant (30 off 23) ensured that India cashed-in on the momentum that SKY had given them.

The duo racked up 34 runs in the next three overs before Jofra Archer cleaned up Pant. Hardik Pandya (11 off 8) once again struggled against the hard length and in a hit his way out of it, he was dismissed thanks to an outstanding catch by Ben Stokes, who dived to his left. Shreyas Iyer and Washington Sundar perished in a bid to get some quick runs but Shardul Thakur’s 4-ball 10 ensured that India finished with 8-185 after 20.

 

Here’s how Twitter reacted-

Yash Mittal

Just a student of this beautiful game called cricket. Writer. Storyteller.