England carried the momentum after their victory at Kolkata as they cruised to an emphatic 7 wicket victory in the first T20 at Kanpur. Virat Kohli on the other end, unfortunately, did not have a good outing with the bat and also lost his first T20 as India captain.
Cricketsoccer brings to you some of the moments of the match which became the talking points at the end.
Tymal Mills making his debut for England: The much talked about England pacer was roped into the side especially for the T20 series. A well travelled cricketer who only plays T20 cricket all around the world looked good in his first outing as he bowled with pace and bounce on a good batting track. First up, he bowled a couple of good bouncers to Virat Kohli, who played him well of both the front and the back foot. The contest was evenly matched as some deliveries from Mills just missed the outside edge of Kohli’s bat. Hardik Pandya was Mills’s first T20 international wicket.
Virat Kohli opening the batting with KL Rahul: Team India seemed to have found a new opening pair in T20 internationals. Virat Kohli was seen to open the batting alongside KL Rahul at Kanpur. With the front line openers injured and also not being a part of the team the Rahul – Virat duo now seems to be the opening combination for India in T20s. Both of them were seen to open for Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League and seems to have carried on the confidence from the last season. The pair added 34 for the first wicket as Rahul got out cheaply. Hopefully there will be a better performance from the duo in the next two T20s.
Suresh Raina scores a brisk 34 on his comeback: Making a comeback into the Indian team after missing out the ODI series against New Zealand, Suresh Raina contributed with 34 much needed runs in the middle order for India. Just when it looked like Raina was ready to launch big into the England attack, a Ben Stokes yorker hitting Raina’s leg stump cut short his promising innings. His innings looked promising with Raina hitting a couple of good inside out shots and also a six over extra cover in his won elegant way.
MS Dhoni motoring the Indian innings: As he lost partners at the other end, MS Dhoni structured an innings of 36 from 27 balls hitting only 3 boundaries in his innings. All through his innings, he was not allowed to play strokes freely by the England bowlers who chipped away with the wickets making it difficult for MS Dhoni to punch a counter attack.
England openers fare well again: Like the ODI’s the England openers continued their good performance in the first T20. The duo of Jason Roy and Sam Billings added 42 inside 4 overs thereby taking the pressure of the middle order and instead making the Indian bowlers succumb to the pressure. It was their counterattacking partnership at the top which made it easier for their middle order to capitalize.
Captain’s knock from Morgan: England captain Eoin Morgan played a captains knock when it mattered most. His 38 ball 51 helped England steady their chase and end on a winning note. He continued where he left from Kolkata. Similarly, his knock at Kanpur helped England take the lead in the series.
Professional performance from England: It was a professional performance from England who were one step ahead in the contest. From restricting the Indians to a relatively low total to winning it with almost two overs to spare, they proved to be a better team on the night. After losing the ODI series they are all determined to win the T20 series and certainly has taken a first step to it by winning Kanpur contest.