India v England | Three Close Encounters – Three Losses
A hugely entertaining tour of India came to an end on Sunday and although the Lions experienced three series losses, there have been performances in isolation that should encourage the country for the rest of the year.
This tour of India was used to experiment and tinker with an otherwise polished England line-up in all three formats, so although the results may have not swung the way of England, the performances of individual players will help determine the squads and major prize honours in the next few years, most importantly for the T20 World Cup in October.
India v England – Test Series (3-1)
England started incredibly positively with the bat in this series, putting 756 runs on the board and securing the opening test with Joe Root’s outstanding double century the highlight of the win. After that contest however, it went downhill for England as India turned the screw and bowled impeccably to limit the visitors any clear opportunities. A crazy third test that lasted a mere two days raised questions about the quality of the pitch in Ahmedabad but ultimately India had too much firepower with the ball.
Axar Patel was one of the stars on his debut, picking up 6 wickets, the most ever by an Indian in a debut test match, whilst Ravichandran Ashwin took over 30 wickets throughout the series, an incredible achievement by the experienced bowler.
India v England – T20 Series (3-2)
The T20 series between India and England was an incredible match up as two of the best teams in the format went toe to toe, with India’s batting performance in the decider sealing them the series win.
Captain Virat Kohli won the player of the series with a flurry of impressive batting performances, particularly in the second match that secured the win to level it 1-1 after England and Jofra Archer flew out of the traps in game 1.
England took the series lead in game 3 with a brilliant 83 not out from Jos Buttler, who’s contribution significantly helped to chase down 156 with ease. The number one ranked team in the world were in the driving seat to secure a famous win in India, but the hosts came back strong.
Archer’s 4 wickets in the fourth match wasn’t enough to halt a strong Indian batting score of 185/8. England, in their favourite chasing position had a chance going into the final 4 overs with 46 required but back to back wickets of Stokes and Morgan in the 16th over by Shardul Thakur shifted the momentum away from Morgan’s men.
This lead to a thrilling finale on Saturday and England would have been confident after winning the toss and as expecting, putting India in to bat first. But an outstanding target of 225 was set by India in their best batting performance in the series and England couldn’t cope with the pressure of needing to keep up with an 11.20 run rate.
A beautiful, swinging T20 series has certainly whet the appetite of cricket fans as the T20 World Cup looms in October. The rescheduled tournament is now being held in India instead of Australia, so England will be extremely well placed to deal with the tricky Indian conditions and hopefully bring back the trophy, alongside the ODI World Cup won in 2019.
India v England – ODI Series (2-1)
300+ was a minimum run score in this series as India again battled through to win the series 2-1, triumphing in the decider with 10 balls to spare.
Sharma and Dhawan got India off to a brilliant first wicket partnership, reaching a ton at a strike rate over 100 with Pant and Hardik Pandya adding 78 and 64 respectively to set England a target of 329. England were supremely confident in winning this, after an outstanding chase of 336 in the previous match with a bucket load of overs left. In that game, Bairstow received player of the game with an impressive 124, whilst partnering Stokes who hit 99 off 52, including 10 smashing sixes.
Unfortunately the opening partnership of Roy and Bairstow went for just 15 between them and England never recovered, despite a 95 not out from Sam Curran that gave them a small possibility of a historic comeback. Another series that just got away from the visitors but again the assessment from the England camp after the series was one of encouragement.
What’s next for England?
That’s it for now until June for England as many of the international players will set off for the IPL to play for their respective teams, which starts on April 9th.
Then it’s all about cricket at home as England have four competitive nations to face off against in various formats.
Firstly England are scheduled to play New Zealand in a 2 match test series, before a red hot summer of ODI and T20 action.
There’s three ODIs and T20s that start in the end of June against Sri Lanka, before an exciting contest against Pakistan in July, the same 6 game format. We have hospitality available for all 12 matches, although spaces are decreasing week by week.
Then the big one. England v India in a 5 test match series that will be a must-see affair for all England fans. 25 days of action around the country and there’s no better way to watch it live than with Engage and our premium hospitality packages.