Sat. Feb 24th, 2024

England extended their dominant run against India with a comprehensive 38-run win which gave them a 1-0 lead in the three-match series. It also was England’s 21st victory in 28 T20Is against India and eighth in 10 matches in the country.

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India failed to read the conditions adequately and also made glaring errors in the first game which turned out to be a one-sided affair.

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On a flat pitch not offering much to the bowlers especially in the first innings, India used four different spinners — including the rookie Kanika Ahuja — and England took them apart, scoring 121 runs from a collective 12 overs for three wickets.

India handed debuts to two left-arm spinners Shreyanka Patil (2/44) and Saika Ishaque (1/38) but both were wayward and expensive in their respective four-over spells.

Senior spinner Deepti Sharma (0/28) was not even trusted with completing her quota of overs.

Indian spinners bowled short as well as full tosses at times for England batters to dominate, whereas their fielders did not support them enough. Both Danni Wyatt and Nat Sciver-Brunt were given lifelines which proved to be costly for the home team.

The only bright spot in India’s bowling was seamer Renuka Singh Thakur, who had left England reeling at 2 for 2 in the opening over of the match.

But India not only allowed England to stage a comeback, the hosts, coming off a two-month break, also could not force their way back into the game at any stage.

While Indian tweakers cut a sorry figure, England’s spin pair of Sophie Ecclestone (4-0-15-3) and Sarah Glenn (1/25) exposed India’s batters with probing line and lengths that just did not allow them to free their arms.

India’s batters could not make a dent chasing 198 even though opening batter Shafali Verma scored a quality half-century (52) and Harmanpreet Kaur (26) was looking promising with the bat.

Smriti Mandhana and Jemimah Rodrigues failed to make a mark on a perfect batting track and the team will expect more from the two seasoned campaigners.

India will have to make significant improvements in a short time if they have to challenge England, whose fielders gave no breathing space and bowlers stuck to their plans largely.

After this three-match T20I series, India will take on England in a one-off Test to be played in mid-December at the DY Patil stadium, followed by an all-format series against Australia — such a schedule will push this team to its limits.

Before the start of a long home season, India’s new head coach Amol Muzumdar spoke about looking at the future and not what the numbers tell. But it would be difficult to ignore that India have only four wins in 16 series playing at home.

India have never beaten England in a T20 series since their win in the inaugural edition in 2006, when the two teams began playing against each other in the shortest format.

If India have to avert a series loss, they will have to conjure something special to make a comeback and win the next two games.


India: Harmanpreet Kaur (c), Smriti Mandhana (vc), Jemimah Rodrigues, Shafali Verma, Deepti Sharma, Yastika Bhatia (wk), Richa Ghosh (wk), Amanjot Kaur, Shreyanka Patil, Mannat Kashyap, Saika Ishaque, Renuka Singh Thakur, Titas Sadhu, Pooja Vastrakar, Kanika Ahuja, Minnu Mani.

England: Lauren Bell, Maia Bouchier, Alice Capsey, Charlie Dean, Sophia Dunkley, Sophie Ecclestone, Mahika Gaur, Danielle Gibson, Sarah Glenn, Bess Heath (wk), Amy Jones (wk), Freya Kemp, Heather Knight (c), Nat Sciver-Brunt, Danielle Wyatt.

Time: 7:00pm IST.

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