SCORECARD | HIGHLIGHTS
The target of 165 on a seemingly two-paced pitch looked challenging enough when India lost KL Rahul in the first over of the chase. There was captain Virat Kohli, in search of form, joining Ishan. Well, Ishan took it on himself to ease his captain into some rhythm as he devoured a well-oiled English attack to bring up half-century on debut off 28 balls.
Captain @imVkohli finishes it off in style with a SIX 😎#TeamIndia 🇮🇳 beat England 🏴 by 7️⃣ wickets to level… https://t.co/SepYIVeouP
— BCCI (@BCCI) 1615741914000
Ishan ensured India didn’t lose any of the momentum provided by Bhuvneshwar Kumar (1/28) and Shardul Thakur’s (2/29) immaculate spell of death bowling that restricted England’s charge while setting a target.
All one can say when we win convincingly like this.#INDvENG https://t.co/JLdLlQYNHP
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) 1615741819000
England strangely decided to give up on the plan of raw pace in this match. Ishan took a liking to it. Stokes dropped him on 41 and he said thank you by mowing Adil Rashid into the stands twice to bring up his half-century. Every hit to the fence was as much a statement as every cautious dabs into the outfield. Such is the game these days that you can’t blame Ishan for being trapped LBW to Rashid while attempting a reverse sweep on 56.
Virat Kohli and Ishan Kishan (AFP Photo)
Ishan’s dream debut set it up for Kohli to do his business with consummate ease—closing out chases. The red-hot Rishabh Pant came in at 94/2 after 10 overs and ensured the tempo didn’t drop. He pumped two sixes and two boundaries for a 13-ball 26, easing the burden off his captain who has been carrying out chases almost single-handedly for years.
Great and entertaining knocks by @imVkohli paji and @ishankishan51 today.. good win for #TeamIndia. Congratulations @bcci 🙌🏻
— rishi dhawan (@rishid100) 1615741697000
The scoreboard may suggest Kohli anchored another chase with a measured unbeaten 48-ball 67 but it was these two young boys who made the tricky chase innocuous in the end.
The Indian T20 set-up had a philosophy so far. On Sunday night, they saw a plan taking shape. ‘Explosive’ is what they promised. It took two boys who played U-19 cricket together to offer some substance to the philosophy. Ishan and Pant make sure the team’s marquee draws don’t risk their wickets and provide the stability. The Kohli six off Jordan to seal the deal with 13 balls to spare is just the kind of dominant he had harped on going into the series.
Ishan Kishan (Getty Images)
The bowlers look in control. They didn’t let any of the English batsmen to run away with the game with Jason Roy being the highest scorer with a 35-ball 46. They have done so for most part over the last two years in T20 cricket. But you could really sense Kohli’s joy every time he had his arms around the shoulders of Ishan and Pant after they tonked the ball to the boundary.
Virat Kohli finishes it off with a SIX!India win the second #INDvENG T20I by seven wickets and level the series 1… https://t.co/fX1Ldnk2ns
— ICC (@ICC) 1615741384000
Sunday’s knock may be just another run-off-the-mill knock by Kohli’s standards but the captain, for once, would have enjoyed playing the second fiddle out there in the middle. Kohli’s blade has started producing runs with authority.
The young blood in the team is giving shape to his philosophy of uninhibited cricket. There’s a method to their sprint now. It’s about saving themselves and run the full course when the T20 World Cup arrives in India in October this year.