Ahmedabad: Sealing a 3-2 win in the five-match series, India defeated England by 36 runs in the fifth and final T20I here last Saturday. The visitors could only muster 188 for eight in 20 overs, in response to India’s target of 225 runs. The hosts were in top form, putting in an excellent start after being sent in to bat. Openers Rohit Sharma (64) and Virat Kohli (80) slammed half-centuries to help India reach 224 for two in 20 overs. Captain Kohli was also unbeaten for his side, alongwith Hardik Pandya (39). Suryakumar Yadav added 32 useful runs to the scoreboard. During their chase, the visitors had put in a great start, with Jos Buttler (52) and Dawid Malan (68) scoring half-centuries. It was only after the dismissal of the duo that it all came crashing down for England. Shardul Thakur took three wickets and Bhuvneshwar Kumar registered two dismissals. The win is also a bonus for India, and is a good sign of their preparations for the upcoming T20 World Cup.
Team India are now unbeaten in eight T20I series on the trot and ended England’s winning streak, also of eight series. Beating the No.1 ranked T20I team is no mean feat and fans on Twitter hailed the Men in Blue for a number of spirited performances whenever their backs were to the wall.
Former England captain Mike Atherton said India are the team to beat at the 2021 T20 World Cup due to the depth they have and the added advantage of playing at home in October-November, but England and the West Indies are also contenders.