|Scorecard:||India v England|
|Event:||England in India 2012/13|
DateLine: 22nd December 2012
India v England
2nd T20I 2012
England will bid to level the two-match T20 Series with India today afternoon as the two teams go head-to-head once more. India got the better of the first match on Thursday as they cruised to a five-wicket win in Pune and they are odds on favourites to seal a 2-0 series whitewash at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai.
After the hosts’ win in the first match, this 2nd T20 cricket match will be a very live one. The last match’s cricket score showed that both the teams gave their best, but India came out with better than the best to beat the visitors. A reinvigorated Indian team in search of another victory is expected to hit the deck in full force. Indian team’s win in the last match was emphatic and unlike the test series where India was completely humbled and humiliated by visitors, Indian team came out with a solid show. But the man who brought the success to team India was the one who was discredited by many for his poor show during the test matches. He was even dropped from the playing 11 in the final test match.
Yes, Yuvraj Singh was the man who saved the day for the team India and Mahendra Singh Dhoni as his all out show proved that the man who beat the odds by beating killer disease cancer has a lot of cricket left in him. He took three important wickets and gave breaks to the hosts when England players were looking set to score at least 200 runs on a placid pitch. But he broke the first partnership by taking the important wicket of Hales who was set and looked to play a long innings for his side. Hales had scored 56 runs off just 36 balls and was hammering Indian bowlers for fours and sixes. Yuvraj also took the wicket of Wright who looked very dangerous and had scored 36 runs. Another wicket that took Yuvraj Singh’s tally to 3 wickets in just four overs was of Morgan. An otherwise very valuable player in the shorter format, he was sent back to pavilion for just 5 runs. If his exploit with the ball was not enough he went on to score 38 runs in just 21 balls. It was power-packed performance that Indian cricket fans will remember for a long time to come.
Other leading Indian bowlers who were expected to do well, flopped completely. Had Yuvraj Singh not been around, the story would have been different altogether and India would have been in search of a rather difficult victory. In bowling, the beginning and end overs are still a worry with debutant Parvinder Awana, who had a poor game, and Ashok Dinda bowling too short yesterday to be punished by the hard-hitting Alex Hales. Though Dinda came back later to bowl well and took two wickets, Awana's nervousness cost him 29 runs in two overs at either end of the innings and he is expected to give way to Bhuvneshwar Kumar or Abhimanyu Mithun.
Even R Ashwin, who started off well and bowled a maiden over to the left-handed Michael Lumb before taking his wicket too, was carted around later to concede 33 runs. Ravindra Jadeja gave away 22 runs in three and Piyush 24 in the same number of overs.
Although it could be worth a look at Virat Kohli to make the difference this weekend. Kohli scored 21 off 17 balls on Thursday and he will have happy memories of Mumbai after scoring a match-winning 86 in a one-dayer against England here last year
England, who have suffered their first reversal to India in a bilateral T20 game after having lost two others in the World T20 events, would also look forward to squaring the rubber and returning home for Christmas and New Year on a high note.
However, this is a very young England side, almost a second string team considering that Kevin Pietersen and Stuart Broad are absent, England too have their problems, the prominent among them is to find an effective spinner in the middle overs as Danny Briggs' left-arm spin was taken to the cleaners along with James Tredwell's off spin. What must worry the think-tank is the fragility of the middle order and the fact that the wickets fell to a non-regular spinner. 157 could still have been defended properly, but the pacers erred in execution and delivered 10 wides. They failed to take the pace off the ball on a skiddy wicket and it worked to the advantage of the Indian batsmen who love playing their shots. Probably Danny Briggs, the left-arm spinner could have made a difference, but he was brought on at an inopportune time, when Yuvraj was just keying up. T20 cricket is just about getting those small things correct at the right time and England's shrewd management will know that for sure.
Stuart Meaker provided the extra pace to trouble the Indian batsmen, including Yuvraj, and Tim Bresnan was also impressive, while Wright was effective with his slow medium bowling but they need an extra bit from all the bowler if they are to snatch the game away from the hosts.
In batting, Hales, who had flopped in his previous three games against India, came good yesterday with his forthright batting. England would hope the others that include their hard-hitting captain Morgan also deliver in the last game of the first half of their visit.
It has been reported that Jonny Bairstow has left the squad and flown back to England for some family reasons.
England (possible): 1 Michael Lumb, 2 Alex Hales, 3 Luke Wright, 4 Eoin Morgan (capt), 5 Samit Patel, 6 Jos Buttler (wk), 7 Tim Bresnan, 8 James Tredwell, 9 Stuart Meaker, 10 Danny Briggs, 11 James Harris.
Should India wish to make a change, they have, on the bench.
India (possible): 1 Gautam Gambhir, 2 Ajinkya Rahane 3, Virat Kohli, 4 Yuvraj Singh, 5 Suresh Raina, 6 MS Dhoni (capt and wk), 7 Ravindra Jadeja, 8 R Ashwin, 9 Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Parvinder Awana/Abhimanyu Mithun, 10 Piyush Chawla, 11 Ashok Dinda
(Article: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the author only.
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