Tw enty20 vision sendstouriststo Nagpurw ithfreshconfidence
ENGLAND head to Nagpur on Friday buoyed by a handsome win in the first of three Twenty20s against India.
Having lost the Test series 4-0 before Christmas and scored their only one-day international win once the series was already gone, the tourists are finally ahead of the game for the first time in a challenging winter.
After winning the toss on Republic Day in Kanpur, England restricted the hosts to a sub-p ar 147 for seven and made light work of the chase, with seven wickets and 11 balls in hand.
In Eoin Morgan (51) and Joe Root (46 not out) they had the game’s two outstanding batsmen. Seamers Tymal Mills and Chris Jordan won the new-ball battle convincingly and, in Moeen Ali’s career-best two for 21, a man-of-thematch contribution.
“I think it was a pretty complete p erformance, certainly as complete as we’ve p roduced on this trip ,” said Morgan.
“I thought the bowlers were outstanding. Everyone within the unit produced exactly what we talked about in executing our plans. Tymal and Chris coming into the side pretty fresh showed exactly why they’re selected for the first game of the series – they were outstanding.
“Moeen Ali was the glue in the middle. He nailed his basics and was a big factor in the game. To reinforce the fact that the things we’re doing work and get results is huge for confidence in the side.”
The only England player who might not feel entirely thrilled by his night’s work was Adil Rashid. Having been left out for the last two ODIs, the leg-spinner was recalled only to go unused.
Rashid is a comp lex p layer who requires careful handling, but Morgan exp lained his absence as a p urely tactical decision based on p itch conditions.
He also pointed to Rashid’s diving catch to see off Yuvraj Singh as a good indicator of the player’s mental state.
“That doesn’t concern me a great deal,” the England captain said. “He is a confidence player and he sat underneath a high ball today and made it look an easy catch.
“Your fielding is always an insight into where you are as a person and I think he’s fine. He understands the situation. It was just a set of circumstances that didn’t work.”
The India captain Virat Kohli has become well used to toasting wins over England in recent months but was happy to accept the tourists as worthy winners on this occasion.
“They were playing freely – you could see it in the body language,” he said. “They were better with the ball, smarter, even at the death Chris Jordan was hitting some nice areas and Mills bowling back-of-the-hand was critical with the slow bouncers. They executed what they wanted to do pretty nicely.”
BIG HIT: England’s performance against India was ‘pretty complete’ according to Morgan.