Former England captain Eoin Morgan lavished praise on Indian bowlers for swinging the ball efficiently in the first T20I game on Thursday (July 7). The Rohit Sharma-led side defeated England by 50 runs to take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series at the Rose Bowl in Southampton.
All-rounder Hardik Pandya starred with the bat and ball to outwit the newly looked England under Jos Buttler. Hardik scored his maiden T20I fifty – 51 off 33 balls – to power India to 198/8 in the first innings.
The huge difference in both innings was the ball swinging: Eoin Morgan
After Bhuvneshwar Kumar castled Buttler with a burgeoning inswinger in the first over, Hardik carried the procession forward to decimate England’s top order.
Hardik bowled Dawid Malan with a length delivery, giving no room to the southpaw to play the ball anywhere near. Four balls later, he outfoxed Liam Livingstone with a short-of-length delivery. The England batter shuffled across the crease to play the scoop shot but all he got was a glove through to the keeper. Hardik used another length ball to get the better of England opener Jason Roy just after the powerplay overs.
India’s debutant Arshdeep Singh built the pressure from the other end, he bowled his first international over as a maiden against Roy and didn’t allow the runs to flow easily. Arshdeep picked the late wickets of Reece Topley and Matthew Parkinson late in the innings as the hosts were bowled out for 148 in 19.3 overs.
“Exceptional, the huge difference in both innings was the ball swinging, if you can get the ball to move off the straight in white-ball cricket specifically it’s a game-changer, an absolute game-changer,” Morgan was quoted as saying by Sky Sports.
“You watched the England top order that is normally unbelievably destructive, do nothing and became a little bit of a target. The bowling was exceptional. Not only the level of swing that they showed, but the accuracy as well, to get somebody like Jos Buttler out first ball with the level of accuracy Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed sometimes you’ve got to say ‘well done’ to the opposition,” the former England skipper added.
Every single Indian batsman came hard against England bowlers: Eoin Morgan
Indian batters also set a great stage for their batters with Rohit Sharma briskly scoring 24 off 14 balls before perishing to Moeen Ali in the third over. Deepak Hooda (33 in 17 balls) and Suryakumar Yadav (39 off 19 balls) carried the momentum and scored runs at quick succession.
Although England chipped in with wickets in the middle, India never let them stage a comeback in their innings as Hardik took the attack on their bowlers, smashing six boundaries and a six to notch up his first fifty in the shortest format for India.
“The most impressive thing about India for me today is what they lacked in the group stages of the T20 World Cup, they brought. Every single one of their batsman came hard at England’s bowlers and that hasn’t happened in previous teams, previous squads that India have produced,” Morgan said.
The second T20I will be played at the Edgbaston in Birmingham on Saturday (July 9).