After grueling test series for the Barmy Army, it was time to battle out the mighty Indians in limited over fixtures. England looks a better side in limited over with the inclusion of Eoin Morgan, Alex Hales, Jason Roy makes the batting line-up look formidable and at the same time David Willley brings in some variety to the bowling department. Virat Kohli era announces itself with a stunning win in both ODIs and T20s.
Well the first of the three matches ODI series started off in Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune and it witnessed some phenomenal hitting making it a nightmare for the bowlers. A good power puffed innings from Jason Roy and Joe Root and amiably supported by cameos from Ben Stokes and Ali took England to a dream start to the series. But the greatness of Virat and support of Kedhar saw India coming home in style even after being reduced to daunting 63/4.
The second match of the series was no different. Huge runs and bowlers struggling. But match at Barabati stadium, Cuttak saw the reincarnation of one of the deadly middle order batting pairs ever of Indian Cricketing fraternity. The scorecard will show you the dreadful condition of bowlers being reduced to bowling machines. Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni made fool of English attack as India hung 382 on board. England did put up a valiant fight, but fell short by 15 runs, thus losing the series.
With Series already in the bag, Virat men took the centre-stage for the final match of the PayTm ODI series held at Eden Gardens, one of the most jubilant cricketing crowds on the planet. The city, filled with some reckoning history. The city of Joy did bring some joy to the barmy army for the first time on the tour as they defeated India by 5 runs. In nail biting match, India saw a birth of promising all-rounder Hardik Pandya. The innigs by Kedar and Pandya was definitely eclipsed by the likes of Roy, Barristow, Morgan and Stokes. So a series, full of runs, helpless bowlers comes to the end with Virat continuing his good streak as a batsman and as a captain too.
The scene shifted to the fastest format of the game where England looks the best team as compared to all the formats. And this was aptly reflected in the first T20I. Not very often does India get outplayed like this at home. Tells you how good England was. From the very onset India looked the feeble and in the end it was reflected in the scorecard also. Posting only 147 on a batting friendly pitch, Root and Morgan made sure that there was no upset for them in the store. Thus English went 1-0 up in the series. A rather contrast from their entire tour.
The second match was no different for Indian batsman’s. Losing toss and put to bat and another 140 score. But this time Nehra and Bumrah made sure that Englishmen donot run away with a series win. In a nail-biting match, India won by 5 runs, leveling the series and tying the opponent in the series decider to be held at Bangalore- The Batsman’s Paradise.
Chinnaswamy stadium, Bangalore has witness lots of iconic performances and yet again it witnessed one. The series decider will be remembered for only name, Yujuvendra Chahal. The local boy, playing for RCB made sure that England saw the peril and this tour is something they wouldn’t want to remember. With career best figures of 6/25, Chahal dismantled the entire English line-up. Eventually England lost by 75 runs and also the series 2-1.
This tour is something that England will try to forget as soon as possible. But for India, this saw the rise of Virat as a all-round captain. Also emergence of Kedhar, Pandya and resurgence of Dhoni , Yuvraj and Nehra is something that India was looking for upcoming Champions Trophy. England had their moments in the ODIs and T20Is, but when it came to crunch situations, it was India who handled the pressure better. Ali stood up as their bets performance. It will be interesting to see how much this team far in foreign condition. Only then, this team will be immortal in the history.
Pic Credits: bcci.tv