India etched win in the five-match T20I series after beating England by 36 runs in the final encounter in Ahmedabad. After being put into bat, India rode on Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s master-class in the top order and some fine batting from Hardik Pandya to post 224/2 in 20 overs.
England were later restricted to 188/8.
WHO SAID WHAT?
Kohli, Player of the Series: It was a complete game for us. Totally outplayed the opposition. Even with so much dew coming in, like last game we’ve defended the total again. Today was a complete game. Despite Rishabh and Iyer not getting a chance we put on 225. Testimony to our batting depth. Today Rohit and me were both positive in our intent. We knew we could trust each other and one of us can play second fiddle if one takes off. Today it was classic Rohit Sharma. And then Surya coming in at three and taking the game even further away. Then Hardik finishing it. I am going to open in the IPL as well. Have batted in different positions in the past. But I feel we have a solid middle order now. Will definitely like to partner Rohit at the top. Other guys feel a lot more confident when one of us is still in and is set. Augurs well for the team. Also how Shreyas batted in the last game and the responsibility he showed in the first game. Ishan was brilliant. I was particularly pleased with Surya. Bhuvi coming back and bowling like that. Still have Jassi to come back. Don’t have much in terms of negatives. Pant showed a lot of maturity through the series as well. Confidence level of Thakur after that series in Australia is sky high. WIth the ball his strength is his belief. Proper cricketer. Giving us runs with the bat as well. Just found out we might have some more (T20Is).
Bhuvneshwar, Player of the Match: Always good to be back. Always good to contribute to the team’s win. All good body wise. Was confident because I played the domestic matches. When you get a wicket in the first over with the inswingers, always gives you joy and confidence.
Morgan: Playing against a strong Indian team in their conditions was fantastic. Another fantastic game today. India outplayed us in big moments and deserved to win. We’ve played some good cricket through the series too. So lots of positives for us. We bat quite deep, and we tend to take advantage of that. Big moments in this series came when we weren’t able to take advantage of that with our middle order. Always feel we have the talent in the changing room to give it a crack. Today wasn’t our day. One of our huge plusses has been the powerplay bowling in most games. Have to commend Adil Rashid for taking on the new role. Gives us a new option. Not really (any concerns).
Hardik Pandya: I have been working on fine-tuning my action, but at the end of the day you are thinking of what kind of delivery you want to bowl, It’s slightly difficult but I am coping really well. When I bat I think as a batsman and when I bowl I think as a bowler. Looking at the World Cup, in this series we wanted to try out a few things and also to break the jinx of batting first and winning, feels really great. The wicket allowed us to use more variations and make sure that the batsmen are not getting anything in their zone.
Shardul Thakur: It’s great to be standing here, it was the most important game. We had to beat England. It feels great as wickets don’t matter, winning the game matters more. I think the bench strength has become better. Whoever comes into the team, gels nicely. The seniors make the youngsters feel comfortable and so does the coaching staff. I think it’s all about intent and hardwork. If you believe in your abilities, wickets will eventually fall down. And you need to take it on from there. I really don’t think whether someone is going to take my place. You see Siraj, Saini sitting out, but we share ideas with each other.