Buoyant India look to continue momentum in third Twenty20 International against England - GulfToday

Buoyant India look to continue momentum in third Twenty20 International against England


India’s K L Rahul bats during a practice session on the eve of their third Twenty20 match against England in Ahmedabad on Monday. Associated Press

Buoyed by an impressive seven-wicket win in the second T20 International, India will take on England in the third game of the five-match series with renewed confidence at the Narendra Modi Stadium on Tuesday.

The hosts, who had lost the first match by eight wickets, bounced back thanks to impressive bowling in the death overs and power-hitting by debutant opener Ishan Kishan, who made a 32-ball 56.

The third match will be played on a surface that is likely to assist spin bowlers, according to England captain Eoin Morgan.

India bowlers will again look to use the change in pace, a quality that confounded the England batsmen. Only opener Jason Roy could put up something decent, making 46 off 35 deliveries, even as the other batsmen struggled to convert their starts as the Indian bowlers used variations in pace to dismiss them.

If the pitch helps the spin bowlers, there could be a chance of India bringing back Axar Patel into the squad. The left-arm spinner, who was India’s star performer in the Test series with 27 wickets in three Tests, was left out of the squad for the second T20I after he was taken for runs in the first game.

But a pitch aiding turn and England’s frailties against him, Patel could be drafted in.

India will most likely see the return of opener Rohit Sharma, who was rested for the first two T20 Internationals. Sharma will replace out-of-form KL Rahul and will open with Mumbai Indians team-mate Kishan.

England have a few worries to deal with. With Mark Wood, who paired up with Jofra Archer well in the first T20I, missing the second game due to injury and there being no surety of his availability for the third match, Morgan’s team may draft in Moeen Ali. Pace bowler Tom Curran was expensive and was taken for runs by Kishan.

Ali’s case could also be aided by a pitch that is likely to help the spin bowlers.

Dew will also be a factor, making chasing a bit easy, although Morgan had said that dew wasn’t there in the previous match.

No crowd for last 3 T20Is : The final three T20 Internationals between India and England will be hosted behind closed doors due to a rise in COVID-19 cases in Ahmedabad, the Gujarat Cricket Association announced on Monday.

The newly-built Narendra Modi Stadium in Motera was open to 50 per cent crowd capacity for the first two T20 Internationals on Friday and Sunday. It also saw crowds for the third and fourth Test matches. Tuesday’s third T20I will now be held without any crowd.

“Due to increasing number of corona cases, the Gujarat Cricket Association (GCA) has decided to organise the remaining T20 International matches between India and England at Narendra Modi Stadium in Ahmedabad behind closed doors.

The GCA will refund the money to the spectators, who have purchased the tickets for T20Is scheduled on March 16, March 18 and March 20, 2021,” said a statement from the Gujarat Cricket Association.

“Due to rise in the number of corona cases, we at GCA have decided in consultation with BCCI that the matches will be played behind closed doors and not allow the spectators in the ground during T20 Internationals to be played between India and England at Ahmedabad (sic).

“We will form the policy for refund of money to the spectators, who have already purchased the tickets for these three T20s. Those who have received complimentary tickets are requested not to visit the stadium,” said Dhanraj Nathwani, vice-president, Gujarat Cricket Association.

Couldn’t handle slow-paced pitch: Morgan: Morgan attributed less pace in the pitch and his batsmen’s inability to handle it as the reason for his team’s seven-wicket loss to India in the second T20 International.

“We were probably in and around par at the half-way stage (England were 91/2 after 11 overs), but India bowled well. This was a different pitch to the one for the first game, less pace in it. They put us on the backfoot from the start and we didn’t have a counter to that, which was disappointing. Pace off the ball is always challenging for the batsmen. I was a little disappointed with the way we played,” said Morgan after the end of the match.

“I thought we would have to bowl well to get over the line. I thought India bowled well.”

England missed the services of Mark Wood, who took 1/20 in his four overs in the first T20I on Friday. Wood is out injured and may not play the next game too.


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