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Bhuvneswhwar, Jadeja help India seal series

India might have made four changes to their side, thanks to the return of the famed old guard, but the new spirit was still intact. Getting to a total of 170 proved to be a bit of a challenge, despite their new all-out approach, but they were able to defend it rather comfortably in a 49-run win at Edgbaston. It also brought upon an unassailable 2-0 lead, and their fourth series win on the bounce over England.

New openers, new style for India

That Rishabh Pant was picked as an opener ahead of Virat Kohli was a sign. And playing in consonance with their new style, India’s new opening pair plundered runs against the new ball, even if it meant that some of it came through edges and mistimed slogs. But clearly experimenting a different style, the openers didn’t hold back and in the process added 49 runs for the first wicket inside five overs. The batters that followed followed the same approach.

Jadeja to the rescue after wickets tumble

Wickets are going to fall if you play such an attacking brand of cricket; the trick, perhaps, is to not panic. India did both of that at Edgbaston. Finding themselves at 89/5 from 49/0 at one point in time, they ensured that they still got to 170, a total that proved more than enough. Getting to that kind of score was also thanks to the team combination, which meant that despite being five down, India had Ravindra Jadeja and Dinesh Karthik at the crease.

Karthik was run out in the 16th over by a throw from Harry Brook but Jadeja’s 46* off only 29 balls, featuring five boundaries and plenty of 2s even on a small ground, ensured that India didn’t fall way behind. As many as 53 runs came in the last five overs, with Jadeja scoring 34 of them.

How did India lose quick wickets at the top?

Thanks to Richard Gleeson, who at 34 years old became the oldest T20I debutant for England and finished with figures of 4-1-15-3.

On a pitch responding to hard lengths, he broke India’s opening stand by bouncing out Rohit Sharma and in his next over, went on to pick two big wickets off successive balls. Kohli, batting at No 3, fell to a top-edge to point whereas Pant went back to an under-edge after coming down the track. Chris Jordan also shone with the ball, picking Hardik Pandya and Suryakumar Yadav off consecutive balls as he finished with 4 for 27.

Bhuvneshwar too hot for England

Defending a target of 171 a matter of touch and go for India? Think again. Bhuvneshwar Kumar struck with the first ball of the innings, getting the dangerous Jason Roy caught at slip. And in the following over came the wicket of big fish Jos Buttler through an under-edge, which Pant was sharp to spot and force India to go for the review. That was the fifth time Bhuvneshwar had Buttler’s number; he finished with 3 for 15 and was adjudged the Player of the Match.

England wrapped up in 17 overs

Bumrah, who was back in the fold after a long Test as captain, followed up Bhuvneshwar’s twin strikes with the wicket of Liam Linvingstone, who was undone and bowled by a slow off-cutter, and later with the wicket of dangerous Sam Curran. Yuzvendra Chahal, into the attack immediately after the PowerPlay, deceived Harry Brook in the air and had him caught in the deep as India’s bowlers continued to pick wickets through the middle overs. Both Bumrah and Chahal finished with 2-10 and didn’t even need to bowl their full quota of overs in a six-man attack.

Brief Scores: India 170/8 in 20 overs (Jadeja 46*; Jordan 4-27, Gleeson 3-15) beat England 121 in 17 overs (Moeen 35; Bhuvneshwar 3-15, Bumrah 2-10, Chahal 2-10) by 49 runs

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