JULY 9, 2022
India 170 for 8 (Jadeja 46*, Rohit 31, Jordan 4-27, Gleeson 3-15) beat England 121 (Moeen 35, Willey 33*, Bhuvneshwar 3-15, Bumrah 2-10, Chahal 2-10) by 49 runs
Bhuvneshwar Kumar picked up a three-wicket haul, and Jasprit Bumrah and Yuzvendra Chahal chipped in with two wickets apiece, as India bundled out England for 121 in the second T20I in Edgbaston to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series.
After having been put in, Rohit Sharma and Rishabh Pant, the latter opening for the first time in T20Is, took India to 49 in 4.5 overs. England pulled things back in the middle overs, with debutant Richard Gleeson picking up Rohit, Virat Kohli and Pant in the space of ten balls. When Chris Jordan dismissed Suryakumar Yadav and Hardik Pandya off successive balls, India were reduced to 89 for 5 in the 11th over.
Ravindra Jadeja, who replaced Axar Patel in the XI, then smashed an unbeaten 46 off 29 balls to steer India to 170 for 8.
Given the short square boundaries – 64 metres on each side – it wasn’t necessarily a winning total, especially against this England side, but Bhuvneshwar sent Jason Roy and Jos Buttler back cheaply to dent England’s chase. England could never recover from there and slumped to 61 for 6 in 11 overs. When Harshal Patel yorked No. 11 Matt Parkinson to wrap up the game, there were still three overs left.
Rohit trades perfection for progress
On the second ball of the innings, Rohit attempted a hoick over midwicket against David Willey. All he got was an outside edge past the slip fielder. Two balls later, he chased a full and wide delivery only to slice it towards backward point, where Roy grassed the chance. Of the 20 balls he faced, Rohit was not in control of eight of those.
But the field restrictions meant when he connected well, the runs came thick and fast. Willey was taken for a couple of sixes and Moeen Ali for two fours in three balls. In all, his 31 runs came at a strike rate of 155.
Gleeson, Jordan peg India back
Earlier in the day, Gleeson, at the age of 34 years and 219 days, became the third-oldest debutant for England in T20Is. He made his day more memorable when he sent back Rohit in his very first over. The India captain top-edged a pull and Buttler completed the catch running backwards.
On the first ball of Gleeson’s next over, Dawid Malan took an even better catch to dismiss Kohli. The batter looked to hit a length ball over wide long-on but ended up skying it behind backward point. Malan, like Buttler, ran backwards and put in a full-length dive to pouch it with both hands. When he completed the catch, he wasn’t far away from the incoming deep-third fielder.
Pant, by then, had moved to 26 off 14 balls, using his feet against both seamers and spinners and even deploying the late cut to pick up a four to show in what great state of mind he is in. He gave charge to Gleeson as well but was cramped and ended up getting an inside edge to Buttler.
Hardik played out the hat-trick ball but looked uncomfortable against the extra bounce for the rest of the over, which turned out to be a double-wicket maiden. Still, he and Suryakumar took India to 86 for 3 at the halfway stage but Jordan snaffled them soon after. Suryakumar miscued a pull to deep midwicket and Hardik steered a short-of-a-length delivery to backward point.
Jadeja comes to the rescue
India try to ensure Dinesh Karthik comes out to bat mainly in the last five overs of the innings. But here he was in the middle as early as the 11th over. He took eight balls to open his account and was on 7 off 14 balls. In the end, he was run-out for 12 off 17.
Jadeja, however, kept the scoreboard moving. He was helped by England’s sloppy fielding too – a misfield from Harry Brook handed him his first boundary, and when he was on 12, Buttler missed a potential stumping off Liam Livingstone.
Jadeja made full use of that reprieve and stitched important partnerships with the lower order. In the final over, he even refused a single on a couple of occasions to keep the strike. His efforts made sure India picked up 55 in the last five overs.
Bhuvneshwar swings it India’s way
There was a hint of movement with the new ball when the England seamers were bowling. But it was Bhuvneshwar who exploited it fully. He started with a wicket-maiden. On the first ball of the chase, he had Roy caught at first slip with an outswinger. In the next five, he beat Malan’s outside edge three times and rapped him on the pads once.
In Bhuvneshwar’s next over, Malan used his feet to counter the movement, which prompted Pant to stand up to the stumps. Two balls later, Buttler poked at a length ball, but it kissed the toe end of his bat and settled into Pant’s gloves.
Bumrah’s poetry in slow motion
Livingstone started in an attacking manner, as he always does these days, and hit two back-to-back fours off Bhuvneshwar. In the fourth over, he picked up another boundary off Hardik. But Bumrah nipped his counterattacking knock in the bud with a well-executed slower ball.
Many seamers roll their fingers over the ball when they bowl an offcutter. Bumrah, on the other hand, uses more of his wrist than his fingers for the same effect but with little tell. Livingstone failed to pick it and had his off stump pegged back as the ball sneaked in through the gap between the bat and the pad.
Chahal accounted for Brook and Malan before Bumrah returned to dismiss Sam Curran, with yet another slower ball. The allrounder miscued a lofted shot and holed out to mid-off. That left England 60 for 6 and all but out of the contest.
Moeen and Willey flickered for a while but the required rate had crossed 13. Even after Moeen and Jordan fell off consecutive balls, Willey tried to fight it out, hitting a couple of sixes and as many fours in the next 11 balls, but the task had become insurmountable.