Former England captain Eoin Morgan heaped praise on India’s aggressive batting approach, saying Rohit Sharma’s side are finding what they lacked in the T20 World Cup last year in the UAE. Morgan’s comments came after India won the first T20I of a 3-match series against England in Southampton on Thursday, July 7.
India posted 198 on the board despite not having a loaded batting line-up. Rohit Sharma went from the word go after winning the toss and opting to bat as the skipper hit 5 boundaries for his 14-ball 24. Deepak Hooda, who came in at No. 3, hammered 33 from 17 balls while No. 4 batter Suryakumar Yadav smashed 39 from just 19 balls.
To top it all, all-rounder Hardik Pandya played fearless cricket and his maiden T20I fifty in just 33 balls.
India kept losing wickets at frequent intervals but that did not stop the Asian giants to go after the England attack. The partnership between Hooda and Suryakumar — 43 runs in just 3.5 overs signalled India’s intent.
The total of 198 proved too much in the end for Jos Buttler’s England as the hosts were bundled out for 148.
“The most impressive thing about India for me today is what they lacked in the group stages of the T20 World Cup, they brought,” Eoin Morgan was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“Every single one of their batsmen came hard at England’s bowlers and that hasn’t happened in previous teams, previous squads that India have produced,” he added.
India skipper Rohit also spoke about the conscious decision to bat more aggressively not just at the top but throughout the innings. Notably, India floundered against Pakistan and New Zealand, failing to get going in the powerplay at last year’s T20 World Cup and eventually exited the tournament early.
“Looking at the larger picture, you try to back your basics. You got to make use of the six overs (with the bat). We’ve spoken about our approach – sometimes it comes off, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s what this sport is, that’s what makes it challenging. It’s something we have spoken of, and all the players need to buy into it, not just 1-2 players,” Rohit said.
‘EXCEPTIONAL SWING BOWLING’
Furthermore, Morgan also heaped praise on India’s bowling attack, saying the likes of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya not just got the ball to move but maintained their accuracy.
England lost 3 wickets in the powerplay after Bhuvneshwar Kumar sent back captain Buttler for 0. Hardik Pandya was the star of the show as he picked up a 4-wicket haul while Arshdeep Singh, on his debut, impressed with his ability to swing the ball both ways before finishing with 2 wickets.
“Exceptional, the huge difference in both innings was the ball swinging, if you can get the ball to move off the straight in white-ball cricket specifically it’s a game-changer, an absolute game-changer,” Morgan said.
“You watched the England top order that is normally unbelievably destructive, do nothing and became a little bit of a target. The bowling was exceptional. Not only the level of swing that they showed, but the accuracy as well, to get somebody like Jos Buttler out first ball with the level of accuracy Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed.
“Sometimes you’ve got to say ‘well done’ to the opposition,” Morgan added.
Rohit Sharma’s men will look to seal the series when they take on England in the 2nd T20I in Birmingham on Saturday. The likes of Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant, Jasprit Bumrah and Ravindra Jadeja, who were rested for the series opener will return.
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