New Delhi: India are in with a good chance to win their third trophy on the trot at home. A win today in the third and final Twenty20 International against England will give Virat Kohli & Co a rare clean up in all formats against the visitors. India have already won both the Test and One-Day International series.
After registering a thrilling 5-run win in the second T20I match at Nagpur on Sunday, India will start as the favourites in the series decider in Bangalore. Having said that, Eoin Morgan’s England can still shock the home team with another virtuoso performance.
They were unlucky to lose the Nagpur tie, which had witnessed a couple of poor decisions – both going India’s way. In fact, in the the shortest format of the game, they have been the better side. They won the first match in Kanpur convincingly, and in Nagpur, they could have easily wrapped up the series.
If it had not been for a certain Jasprit Bumrah and his veteran Ashish Nehra, India would be playing a dead tie today. The fact that India could only score 144 was a testament to their inability to replicate the Test and ODI form. In the first match too, interestingly, India scored only 147, which England won by seven wickets.
And like the Nagpur match, both the sides will look to their respective match-winners in their bid to claim the series.
Here are three players to look out for:
Virat Kohli: Indian skipper has failed to produce match-winning knocks in the T20I series. And it’s an unthinkable fact, considering how the 28-year-old has led the team in Tests and ODIs. But it can change today.
Bangalore is his home ground in the Indian Premier League. In the last season, he wrecked havoc on a ‘traditional’ flat deck, scoring close to thousand runs. The Royal Challengers Bangalore captain scored 54 off 35 balls in a losing cause in the last T20 match played at M Chinnaswamy Stadium.
Besides, Kohli would like to sign off in style as India will enter Test mode starting next week. A good knock from the skipper will give an otherwise fragile looking batting line-up some impetus.
Joe Root: England might have scored consistently well throughout the tour, but one constant which remained unchanged, even in defeats, was the class of Joe Root. Regarded as one of the best batsmen today, the 26-year-old can destroy any attack in the world, and was at his imperious best when England won the first match.
He continued that form in Nagpur, but was undone by avoidable human errors. He got out in the last over when England needed eight runs from the Bumrah over. An LBW decision, after the ball got an inside edge, was the last thing England needed.
He is now the leading scorer in the series with 84 runs, and a good knock from him will enhance their chance of a win.
MS Dhoni: With a bagful of experience and his unrivaled cool attitude, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is still the big dog in Indian team. His mere presence in the centre brings a sense of calm, and it was visible when India defended 144 in Nagpur. He’s no more the captain, but he sure knows how to influence every decision India make on the ground. And Kohli respects that fact.
With the bat, however, Dhoni is fighting his lone war. His selection in the playing XI is not guaranteed anymore, and like any other team member, he needs to prove his worth in the team. That’s when the talks of form comes in.
With India playing their last limited-overs match before the ICC Champions Trophy, Dhoni will like to score some good runs and contribute to the team’s cause. Once this match is over, he will be out of the radar as the Test team will take on Bangladesh, then Australia. In such a circumstance, what the 35-year-old need is a match-winning knock. Just to stay relevant.
Source: Zee News