NEW DELHI: Jos Buttler hit a magnificent 83 as England defeated India by eight wickets in the third Twenty20 International (T20I) to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series. Former India cricketer VVS Laxman said some of India’s decision-making were baffling. India had brought in Rohit Sharma in place of Suryakumar Yadav who made his debut in the second T20I.
“I also found some of India’s decision-making baffling. I am sure the team management has its reasons, but what can possibly be the logic behind pushing Ishan Kishan, who made a half-century on debut as opener, down to No. 3? Or leaving out Suryakumar Yadav, who didn’t even get to bat in his only appearance? Kohli put on a masterclass in the art of innings-building. He was only 24 off 25 balls but switched gears effortlessly to finish with 77 off 46,” VVS Laxman wrote in column for The Times of India.
Put in to bat, India skipper Virat Kohli‘s 77-run blitz propelled India to 156-6 at the Narendra Modi stadium in Ahmedabad. In reply, Jos Buttler made an unbeaten 83 to guide England to 158 for two with 10 balls to spare. Apart from Buttler, Bairstow made an unbeaten 40 off 28 balls.
“Tuesday’s third T20I was an action replay of the first game, where India lost three wickets – and the match – in the power play overs. Statistics reveal that teams win, at best, one in four games when more than two wickets fall in the first six,” Laxman said.
“Virat Kohli tried to resuscitate the floundering effort with an exceptional knock, but despite his best efforts, not even he could undo the damage caused upfront. The red-soil surface was England’s great ally after Eoin Morgan won the toss, which has become a significant factor in this series,” he said.
“India needed early wickets, which is perhaps why Yuzvendra Chahal bowled in the power play, but Jos Buttler had an answer to every question. India will need to revisit their combination, and factor in another bowling option to account for any eventuality. Stacking the line-up with batsmen can be counter-productive, as evidenced twice in the last three matches,” the former cricketer said.
The fourth match of the series will be played on Thursday in Ahmedabad.