England v India: Four talking points as hosts hold nerve to win thriller
England v India: Four talking points as hosts hold nerve to beat tourists by three runs at Edgbaston
Delightful Dhoni can’t inspire last minute India win
With a solid foundation from Shikhar Dhawan’s 33 and Virat Kohli’s superb 66, MS Dhoni came to the crease knowing what he had to do but he and his side fell marginally short. Needing 17 from the final over, Dhoni hit a six from the first ball of Chris Woakes’s final over to set the jitters going for England. He then ran a dangerous two but turned down two singles to leave India five to win from the last ball but his ugly pull was stopped by Moeen Ali at deep mid-wicket, leaving his side three runs short; England finishing the summer with two wins. Credit must go to Woakes who held his nerve after being plundered for a maximum, but England will leave breathing a sigh of relief on what was a belting batting wicket at Edgbaston.
Majestic Morgan puts form questions to bed with exhilarating knock
Having spoken in the week about his lack of form, something clicked for Eoin Morgan in his role as T20 captain with a destructive display of attacking batting to propel England to a more than competitive 180-7 from their allotted overs. Morgan has suffered from a dearth of runs in recent times but returned to form with a bang, hitting 71 from just 31 balls. Three boundaries and seven maximums saw Morgan and England add 81 for the last five overs as the hosts moved from a stuttering middle of the innings to leave India’s big-hitters with a difficult total to chase.
Indian fielding puts stop to English batting muscle
When Joe Root came to the crease and saw a simple catch floored by Ajinkya Rahane, he will have thought his luck was in. Instead, the fielding gaffe concentrated the tourists as they pulled off a pair of stunning catches in the deep to keep England’s high-flying batsmen at bay. Alex Hales’s composed 40 from 25 balls was brought to an end by a brilliant diving catch from Ajinkya Rahane before Ambati Rayadu snaffled a similar grab to send Joe Root on his way. India were sharp in the field throughout, keeping the pressure to restrict the singles and keep the heat on the English batsmen. It was only Morgan who took the attack to the tourists’ bowlers, clearing the rope to take the fielders out of the equation.
Silver lining for England heading to Sri Lanka and beyond but questions remain
After a difficult time of it in coloured clothing, England have ended their summer with two wins and will have a slightly better feeling about things after a disastrous start to the one say series. That is not to say they should ignore the fact they were thoroughly outplayed by India in the first three ODIs, nor the fact changes are needed as it doesn’t look like even England know their best line-up. They should enjoy an all-round team performance in the T20 but they need to go back to the drawing board if they are to have any sort of chance of being successful at the World Cup. Batting order/bowling options and balance of the side all need to be considered before it is too late or they may as well not bother turning up.