India vs England, T20 WC 2021, 18 October 2021, Practice Match
Match Result : India won by 7 wickets
Match Report : Fifties from KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan at the top of the order led India to a seven-wicket win in their first warm-up game against England. Apart from setting the base for a successful chase of 189, the 82-run opening partnership between Rahul and Kishan, off just 50 balls, also left India in a dilemma ahead of their opening match of the tournament proper.
Before the match, Virat Kohli indicated that Rahul would open with Rohit Sharma – who was left out for this game – when the tournament begins, and that he himself would bat at No. 3. Rahul showed why his captain wants him at the top of the order, providing the early impact with 51 off just 24 balls, carrying on the superb form he showed in his last match of the IPL season for Punjab Kings.
With a 46-ball 70, Kishan ensured he made a strong case for selection too, in the middle order if not at the top.
Positives For India And England From The Match
India won with an over to spare, but the match was tighter than that margin suggested, with Chris Jordan sending down a wide, high full-toss that was no-balled and ran away past the keeper to the boundary, to change the equation from 16 required off nine balls to 11 off eight. Hardik Pandya swung at the free-hit that followed and sent an edge to the third-man boundary, before Rishabh Pant finished off at the end of that over with a pulled six. Pant remained unbeaten on a 14-ball 29 that also included successive straight sixes off Moeen Ali.
There were positives for England too, particularly with the bat, with Jonny Bairstow, Liam Livingstone and Moeen making strong contributions in the middle order. Livingstone also picked up the wicket of a subdued Kohli with his legspin – he also showed his versatility by bowling offspin to the left-handers – but a good evening for him ended early when he walked off the field with a finger injury sustained while going for a catch in the deep in the 16th over. England will hope the injury isn’t serious.
India’s Bowling Department
The legspinner Rahul Chahar, however, was expensive, as were Shami and particularly Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who conceded 54 in his four overs including Moeen hitting him for 4, 6, 6 off the last three balls of England’s innings.
Mohammed Shami took three wickets for India, but their most impressive performers with the ball were Jasprit Bumrah, who took Bairstow out with a perfectly directed yorker and only conceded 26 in his four overs. R Ashwin was even more frugal, going at less than a run a ball, and made a case for selection in India’s spin attack.
Next Match : India vs Australia
Both teams will play their final warm-up games on Wednesday – England against New Zealand and India against Australia – and get a chance to test some of the players they rested today.
These include Rohit and the mystery spinner Varun Chakravarthy from the Indian camp, and Eoin Morgan – Jos Buttler stood in as captain – and the fast bowlers Mark Wood and Tymal Mills from England.