India vs England 5th T20I preview: A thrilling finale at stake

Can India claim the series vs England in the 5th T20I?

India hold upper hand in series decider against England

It was very important for India to negate the toss factor in the 4th T20I against England, as they had lost both previous games when losing the toss. Despite losing the toss, they tried to take the positive approach. India defended a score successfully and so there are many positives to take for the team, ahead of the deciding game vs England – in the 5th T20I.

First of all, the hero of the match “Suryakumar Yadav” made a strong statement after his arrival. Yadav did play in the second game but unfortunately, he did not get to bat.

He batted at number 3 this time around. And, guess what? He was in a different mood altogether. He started his T20I career with a bang! A six to Jofra Archer on the very first ball of his T20I career, Surya made his intentions very clear. He was here to stay. He even said that it was planned due to his IPL experience.

He stunned viewers with his well-paced innings at a crucial stage, attacking the bowlers despite the dismissals of Rohit, Rahul and Virat. It was very important for someone to take charge and take the Indian innings forward. Yadav did just that.

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It’s not easy to walk in at three in your first game and we all were stunned. He stamped his authority and allowed the likes of Shreyas, Hardik and Pant to do their job. I am a fan of these youngsters: Virat Kohli

The Chahar experiment

Secondly, as India were trying out options in order to build a well-balanced squad for the T20 World Cup later this year, they gave Rahul Chahar a go just to see what he can offer as a leg-spinner. He was effective.

Chahar struggled in the early phases but came back strongly and picked up the important wicket of Dawid Malan. Later, he controlled the flow runs with some variations. Overall, he was good. Definitely, a big positive.

England’s middle-order muddle

As Nasser Hussain pointed out multiple times on air, England’s middle-order lacked variety in the 4th T20I at Ahmedabad. This was because the ball was gripping in the surface, meaning that using the cutter away from England’s plethora of left-handers was an easy ploy.

Shardul Thakur did this with great effect, but struggled against both right-handers in Jofra Archer and Chris Jordan. There is no problem with England’s personnel, but if Jos Buttler continues opening the batting, then it does leave them with Ben Stokes, Eoin Morgan and Sam Curran in succession, down the order.

Perfect Pandya

As mentioned by Virat in the post-match presentation, Hardik Pandya bowling his full quota of overs is a massive plus for India heading into the World Cup. Pandya played as a specialist batsman in Australia, as he wasn’t 100% fit to bowl. Interestingly, he did exceedingly well as a batsman. Still, Pandya as an all-rounder is what both Kohli and India demand from him.

Earlier, India had to play just 5 bowlers, with Pandya not bowling. But, going with just 5 bowling options against an aggressive batting order like England was always going to be a risky call.

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Hence, it was vital that he got through the spell. In fact, he not only completed his overs but he also mixed it up really well and he was actually troubling the English batsmen. His stats may blow your mind – Pandya’s economy rate of 6.46 in the series so far, is the second-highest amongst all bowlers.

 I am more happy for Hardik who bowled his four overs. It augurs well for us if he does it for us. He was potent with the new ball. He has skill with the ball and he clicked 140+ as well. Hardik put enough pressure on Roy and then got Sam Curran out as well in the end. His role in the defence, in the end, was very crucial: Virat Kohli

Still, the biggest positive from an Indian viewpoint was probably Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s comeback. He only picked up one wicket, but it was the prize scalp of Jos Buttler, who had been the match winner for England vs India, in the previous T20I.

What to expect in the 5th T20I?

India are certainly the favourites going into the decider on Saturday with momentum being on their side. KL Rahul is a big worry for India at the moment as they are not getting enough runs at the top of the order.

On the contrary, England are getting most of their runs at the top order with Buttler and Roy scoring at efficient rates. Rahul is expected to be dropped in the decider, as the series is at stake. Ishan Kishan might open with Rohit Sharma.

Tewatia may play on Saturday as he hasn’t been given game time yet. The bowling department might be unchanged. England on the other hand would expect Chris Jordan to deliver. Despite Jofra Archer and Mark Wood firing, they are not getting enough support from Jordan.

Also, Read: The top 5 death bowlers in the world

We hope you enjoyed our India vs England 5th T20I preview.

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