India finally won the closely fought T20I series vs England 3-2 .This series was a dress rehearsal for both teams before World Cup and both teams must have gone closer in finalising their World cup squads after this series.
The IPL starting next month will help in furthering their quest for framing their final squads but what this series has done for the Indian team should give lots of pleasures to the Indian thinktank. The comeback from long injury of Bhuvneshwar Kumar , Hardik Pandya’s bowling success , the emergence of Ishan Kishan and Surya Kumar Yadav and skipper Virat Kohli’s reassured form has been big pluses for India .
Bhuvneshwar Kumar with 4 wickets and an economy of below seven showed that long layoff hasn’t diminished his skills with the ball. He was outstanding in the decider in a game where runs flowed from both teams and has shown that he is equal at ease bowling at powerplay or in slog overs . With his ability to swing and cut the ball and vary his pace Bhuvi has announced that he belongs to the 1st XI.
Hardik Pandya had quiet series with the bat except last game but his bowling stood out in this game particularly in the crucial 4th ODI taking 2/16 off 4 overs . Bowling with decent pace touching 140 and having a series economy below 7 he used his slower balls perfectly and has reduced India’s 5th or 6th bowler worries .
Ishan Kishan and Surya Kumar Yadav were confidence personified after their regular IPL stints and they never looked out of place in their Indian debuts. They played like seasoned players and brought the much needed explosive element at the top of the batting order with strike rates of 140 plus. With both of them on board , India will possess the much needed striking power in powerplay overs.
The batting form of Virat Kohli (231 runs 115 average 147 strike rate) was another reassuring feature after his indifferent test series . He hit 3 fifties and looked lethal in slog overs with his authentic cricket shots . He has expressed his wish to open for India to play more balls . Much will depend on how he performs for RCB as opener this season.
The others like Rohit Sharma , Shreyas Iyer , Shardul Thakur and Rishabh Pant all had their good moments in the series. However it appears that Shikhar Dhawan’s T20 fortunes appears to have gone downhill and Yazuvendra Chahal needs work to do on his ever increasing economy rate .
For England , they need to have a look at Ben Stokes batting spot . Stokes is an impact player and him batting at 6 is harming England’s cause . Dawid Malan except for last match has struggled in the series and Stokes should have played at 3 or 4 . Jos Buttler with 172 runs in the series has been their best performer while Jofra Archer with 7 wickets and below 8 economy rate was their best bowler capable of varying his pace as well as bowling at express pace . Overall they have their squad very much sorted and inspite of this narrow series loss they should have almost the same core for the T20 World cup this year.
However this is a great series with for India and it has come against the number one ranked T20 team in the world.