India v England: Talking points as Morgan’s men triumph in Mumbai
India v England: Matt Cansick looks at the talking points from the tourists dramatic victory in Mumbai
England draw series
Having lost the first match in Pune, England bounced back to win a thrilling second T20 international in Mumbai. Stand in captain Eoin Morgan put India in, and they racked up a very competitive 177-8. Virat Kohli produced the early momentum with 38 from 20 balls before being caught lbw to Stuart Meaker, and Rohit Sharma (24 from 19), Suresh Raina (35n.o.) and MS Dhoni (38 from 18) all made important contributions further down the order. England’s openers made a fantastic start, Michael Lumb getting over the disappointment of a low score in the first game with 50 from 34, and Alex Hales also made 42 from 33. After a brief wobble in which Luke Wright went for five and Samit Patel for nine, Jos Buttler formed a crucial late partnership with Morgan to leave England needing nine from the final over. In a dramatic finale, Morgan won the game with a majestic straight six off the bowling of Ashok Dinda, which meant that India were unable to replace Sri Lanka at the top of the T20 world rankings.
Morgan leads from the front
Following a difficult first game in which a total of 158-5 was never going to be enough, Morgan stepped up in the second match to lead his side to a share of the series. Coming in at a time when momentum had to be maintained, Morgan was able to hit some pressure-relieving shots to ensure the game was not out of reach heading into the last over. A scrambled single off the penultimate ball of the match left Morgan on strike, and he was coolness personified as he hit a perfect shot back over bowler Dinda’s head. After a difficult tour in which he was overlooked for the Test side, Morgan will be pleased to have reminded people of what he can do, in one day cricket at least. He appears to have fallen down the pecking order in the five day format, but when it comes to limited overs cricket there are few better within the England setup. He is extremely consistent and has saved England on many occasions, and India will have identified him as a key wicket in the ODI series next month.
Break for England before one day series
The England players now return home for Christmas before returning to the sub continent at the start of January. It is a well-deserved break for those players involved in both Test and one day squads, and with two warm up games with which to reacclimatise, they should not be adversely affected by the travelling. There are opportunities for Jos Buttler and Chris Woakes, who have replaced James Anderson and Jonathan Trott, and with a hectic schedule for the England team over the next 18 months, it is only sensible that these two key players are given a rest. Drawing the T20 series – particularly having been 1-0 down – is an important boost for a young and inexperienced side. The prospect of avoiding a series defeat in all three formats is a rare occurrence for England in India, and 50-over captain Alastair Cook will be hoping to ensure that his side head to New Zealand in Feburary with this objective achieved.