Habits are like weeds. the longer you allow them to grow, the harder it is to uproot them.
And team India is certainly making it a habit of coming back with aplomb after losing the first match of a series. They did it in Australia, recovering from the ignominy of 36. In the Test series against England, they were hammered rather brutally in the opener, only for the Englishmen to bear the brunt for the remainder of the series. And on Sunday, they did it in the T20 series as well, winning the decider convincingly to clinch the five-match series by the margin of 3-2.
The first three matches of the series were claimed by teams winning the toss and chasing totals, forcing Michael Vaughan to joke that the best tosser could win the T20 World Cup. Team India, however, turned things around and triumphed in the last two matches, batting first. As Eoin Morgan rightly pointed out, the hosts won the big moments and, thus deserving, the series.
We take a look at things that we learnt from the come-from-behind series win
T20 series: Kohli, Rohit to open?
After yet another surprise move at the top of the batting order for the series decider on Saturday against England, Indian captain Virat Kohli is planning a longer stint at the top of the order and that includes opening the innings in the upcoming Indian Premier League season (IPL).
Kohli moved to the top of the order and along with the flamboyant Rohit Sharma, produced a memorable partnership and it could be possibly something fans could see in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup scheduled to be held in the country later this year.
Kohli expressed his desire after he opened with Rohit in the final match of the T20 series against England. The duo added 94-runs in quick time as India posted a massive 224/2 and ran out victors by 36 runs.
Also, Rohit Sharma clicked into gears when it mattered the most. Going into the match with scores of 15 and 12 for the series after being rested for the first two matches, Sharma unleashed a masterclass of timing, power and elegance with an effortless-looking 64 off just 34 balls that consigned Kohli to the shade initially.
T20 series: No place for Rahul, Shikhar?
Just before the T20 series commenced, the selection of Suryakumar Yadav, Rahul Tewatia and Ishan Kishan made the news. Especially Surya and Ishan Kishan have tested success in the IPL with Mumbai Indians when they received their maiden call-ups to the national squad.
Surya Kumar Yadav had enjoyed his breakthrough year in 2018, where he not only surpassed 200 runs in a season for the first time but also went on to score 512 runs at an average of 36.57.
Both Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav played two innings apiece in the recently-concluded five-match T20 series against India.
In his debut game, Ishan Kishan scored a brilliant 56 off 32 to help India win the second T20I. Suryakumar Yadav, meanwhile, produced a ‘Man of the Match performance in the fourth T20I and also played a dazzling cameo in the fifth.
This however raises doubts over KL Rahul’s spot in the playing XI. The opening batsman has been in woeful form and did not play the final T20s of the series owing to that. 0,0 and 1 read his scores in the series, and he along with Shikhar Dhawan will have to work their socks off to claim their places in Staring XI.
T20 series: Bhuvneshwar still rules the roost
Let’s just digest this. At the end of a final match of the T20 series, 412 runs had been plundered in 40 overs, Bhuvneshwar had 4-0-15-2, and four of those runs had come off wide balls. He bowled 17 dot balls in his four-over spell, which went a long way in stemming the English juggernaut in Ahmedabad’s Narendra Modi stadium.
With Jasprit Bumrah rested for India’s limited-overs series against England, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, returning from injury, was tasked with leading India’s pace attack. And the Sunrisers Hyderabad operator, although did not get many wickets, played the role of restricting the batsmen. His variations and bowling tight lines, especially in the death overs, kept India in the game. With the World Cup preparations already in place, the team management must be stoked about Bhuvneshwar’s form and him and Bumrah will be holding the key for India in World t20 later this year. All in all, it has been a T20 series of many pluses and team India and Virat Kohli step up their World T20 quest from here!