Having squared-up the series for the second time with a hard-fought win on Thursday, India will aim to go one step further and bag the trophy when they face England in the fifth and final T20 International in Ahmedabad on Saturday.
Virat Kohli and Co defeated England in the fourth T20I by eight runs on the back of some fine bowling by all-rounder Hardik Pandya and a sparkling first international half-century by Suryakumar Yadav.
The right-hander’s innings at No 3 impressed one and all and he also found a place in the squad for the upcoming ODI series.
“It’s not easy to walk in at three in your first game and we all were stunned. He stamped his authority and allowed the likes of Shreyas, Hardik and Pant to do their job. I am a fan of these youngsters,” said Kohli referring to Suryakumar.
With Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar having a big impact in the series, Haryana all-rounder Rahul Tewatia is the only one in the squad left to make his debut and that could happen on Saturday.
Another big plus for India in the series has been Hardik contributing with the ball regularly. He was among the star bowlers on Thursday, taking two wickets for 16 runs in four overs.
Leggie Rahul Chahar, playing in place of Yuzvendra Chahal, also did a decent job while Washington Sundar had a rare off day.
India will now be hoping KL Rahul fires at the top, having gotten out for 14 off 17 in the fourth game following scores of 1, 0, 0.
Kohli must have got a lot of satisfaction out of the fact that India were able to put up a big score and defend with the dew around in the night. It was the first time in the series that the team batting first went on to win the game.
England, on the other hand, will expect Jos Buttler and, Dawid Malan, the top-ranked batsman in T20I cricket, to show more consistency with the bat.
The pace duo of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood has been impressive but they have not got a lot of support from Chris Jordan, who leaked the most number runs among England’s bowlers in the fourth T20I.
“We are just trying to learn as much as we can in this series. The progression to the World Cup in seven months is important,” said Morgan following the eight-run loss.
“We really want to play in must-win games like these. Certainly all to play for now. Playing away from home and winning will be great.”
India: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Rishabh Pant (wk), Hardik Pandya, Yuzvendra Chahal, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Navdeep Saini, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Tewatia, Ishan Kishan.
England: Eoin Morgan (captain), Joss Buttler, Jason Roy, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid, Reece Topley, Chris Jordan, Mark Wood, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Sam Billings, Jonny Bairstow, Jofra Archer.
(With inputs from PTI)
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