Tw enty20 vi­sion send­s­tourist­sto Nag­purw ith­fresh­con­fi­dence

The Herald - Herald Sport - - RBS 6 NATIONS, CRICKET - RORY DOLLARD

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.

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