This is a T20 World Cup year and all teams want to get in as much T20 international practice as possible before the mega event kicks off in October. For Virat Kohli and his boys, all T20 internationals played at home will be great practice, since the World Cup will be played in India.
As we count down to the first of five T20s vs England, which starts on Friday, TimesofIndia.com takes a close look at some of the most memorable T20 encounters played between the two teams so far.
There have been 14 T20I matches between India and England so far, with both sides winning seven encounters each. India won both the matches which were played in neutral venues against England – in Durban in 2007 and in Colombo (RPS) in 2012.
There have been six T20Is between India and England in India, with the hosts winning three of those matches – in Pune in 2012, in Nagpur in 2017 and in Bengaluru in 2017. England emerged victorious in the other three games against India on Indian soil – in Kolkata in 2011, in Mumbai in 2012 and in Kanpur in 2017.
India have played six T20Is against England on English soil and have won only two – in Manchester and Bristol in 2018. England beat India at Lord’s in 2009, in Manchester in 2011, in Birmingham in 2014 and in Cardiff in 2018.
Here we look at five of the most memorable T20I encounters ever played between India and England:
2007 – Durban, World Twenty20: India won by 18 runs
They say one should never wake a sleeping lion. The same holds true for some players. Sometimes sledging them is counterproductive and it awakes the fierce competitor. The end result sometimes is something which the opposition and the whole world remembers forever.
The same happened when India and England clashed for the first time in a T20 international on September 19, 2007 at Kingsmead in Durban. It’s a date etched in cricketing history, when Yuvraj Singh smashed Stuart Broad for six sixes in an over in the maiden edition of the ICC World Twenty20. The feat made him, just the second man, at that time, to hit six sixes in an over in international cricket.
Batting first, India had got off to a fiery start with Gautam Gambhir (58) and Virender Sehwag (68) putting up a 136-run opening stand. But India then lost three wickets in three overs and were 155/3 when Yuvraj walked out to join his captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the crease in the 17th over.
The 18th over of the Indian innings was bowled by Andrew Flintoff and he was hit for two successive boundaries by Yuvraj. Going back to his fielding position after his over, Flintoff said something to Yuvraj which clearly incensed the Indian left-hander. More than a few words were exchanged between the two and the umpire had to intervene to cool things down.
But it was a very young Stuart Broad who had to bear the brunt of Yuvraj’s wrath. The first ball of the 19th over was hit between long-on and mid-wicket into the crowd, the second was flicked over the backward square leg fence, the third found the middle off the bat and went flying over the extra cover boundary.
A visibly shaken-up Broad then switched over to round the wicket and bowled a juicy wide full toss which was clobbered by Yuvraj over the backward point fence. Yuvraj went down on one knee and nonchalantly slammed the fifth ball over the mid-wicket fence and the last delivery of the over was sent flying over wide mid-on into the delirious crowd.
Thanks to the onslaught, Yuvraj reached his fifty off just 12 balls – the fastest T20 fifty – a world record that still stands in his name. Yuvraj also became the first batsman to hit six sixes in T20 cricket, second in international cricket (after Herschelle Gibbs) and fourth in senior level cricket (after Garry Sobers and Ravi Shastri in domestic games).
Yuvraj hit another six off Flintoff in the next over before being dismissed for 58 off just 16 balls – a knock that was studded with 3 fours and 7 sixes. India went on to win the match by 18 runs and Yuvraj of course was adjudged the Man of the Match.
2009 – London, World Twenty20: England won by 3 runs
Cricket fans will remember this as the match that knocked defending champions India out of the second edition of the ICC World Twenty20 on June 14, 2009.
Chasing a 154-run target at Lord’s, India managed 150/5 in their 20 overs and there was a lot of criticism for sending Ravindra Jadeja out to bat, ahead of an in-form Yuvraj.
Batting at No. 4, Jadeja scored a 35-ball 25 before being dismissed. Yuvraj hit a 9-ball 17 before perishing to Graeme Swann.
Captain Dhoni (30* off 20) and Yusuf Pathan (33* off 17) tried their best, but India fell just three runs short of the victory target as the reverse swinging deliveries made it difficult to score and India suffered their second straight defeat in the Super Eights.
2014 – Birmingham, Only T20I: England won by 3 runs
India’s 2014 tour to England consisted of five Tests, five ODIs and one T20I. India lost the Test series 1-3, won the ODI series 3-1.
In the lone T20I of the tour, England stand-in captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and chose to bat at Edgbaston in Birmingham on September 7, 2014.
Leading from the front, Morgan slammed a 31-ball 71 to propel England to 180/7, despite Mohammed Shami taking 3/83 as the Indians conceded 81 runs in the last five overs.
Shikhar Dhawan (33) and Virat Kohli (66) added 79 runs for the second wicket, with Kohli hitting his first fifty of the tour. Debutant Ambati Rayudu batted at No. 7.
It all boiled down to India needing 17 runs off the last over bowled by Chris Woakes and on strike was the world’s best finisher at that time, MS Dhoni, with Rayudu at the other end.
The then India captain smashed the first ball of the over the mid-wicket fence. With some superb running between the wickets, Dhoni stole two runs off the next ball, but refused a single off the next ball.
With 9 runs needed off 3 balls, Dhoni hit a slower ball over mid-off for a boundary. The next ball was edged to deep square leg but Dhoni refused a single again backing himself to finish the match off the last ball.
The tension was palpable. Dhoni was backing himself to hit a six off the last ball.
But with five runs needed off the last ball, Dhoni could manage only a single to deep square leg as England emerged victorious by 3 runs.
2017 – Nagpur, 2nd T20I: India won by 5 runs
The 2nd T20 International of the series was marred by three poor decisions by umpire Shamshuddin. Having won the first match of the series, England asked India to bat first.
KL Rahul’s sublime 47-ball 71, captain Virat Kohli’s 21 and Manish Pandey’s 30 took India to 144/8. Apart from these three, none of the other Indian batsmen registered double figures.
Ashish Nehra took 3 wickets in the match, but conceded 16 runs in the penultimate over.
England needed just 8 runs to win in the last over. And that’s when India’s best death overs bowler, Jasprit Bumrah showed just why he is rated so highly. Bumrah dismissed Joe Root and Jos Buttler, giving away only a single and a bye as India held their nerve to draw level in the series with a 5 run win and take the series into the decider. Bumrah was adjudged Man of the match. He had figures of 2/20 in his 4 overs.
2011 – Manchester, Only T20I: England won by 6 wickets
India’ tour of England in 2011 was nothing short of a nightmare, as the visitors failed to win even a single match on the tour. India lost the four-Test series 0-4, but Rahul Dravid amassed 461 runs, with the help of three brilliant hundreds.
Dravid had last played an ODI in 2009 and was no longer in the Indian scheme of things for limited overs cricket. But he had not announced his retirement from the shorter formats of the game. So everyone was surprised when Dravid was named in the T20I team to face England at Old Trafford in Manchester on August 31, 2011.
But true to his character and temperament, Dravid took the T20I calling in his stride and batting at No. 3, added 65 runs with Ajinkya Rahane (61) for the second wicket.
Not just that, Dravid even clobbered Samit Patel for three consecutive sixes much to the delight of his teammates and the crowd. Dravid’s 21-ball 31-run knock was not one of his greatest knocks by any means, but it was a testament to the character of the man who always took things in his career head-on and batted with a straight bat more often than not. No wonder then that at the end of his knock, Dravid walked off to a standing ovation from the crowd and England players hurried to shake his hand.
India eventually lost the match by 6 wickets and Dravid announced his retirement from the shorter format, but not before playing five ODIs on the same tour.
(All pics credit: Getty Images)