England vs India 2018: 5 reasons why England lost the third T20I
On the back of Rohit Sharma's record-breaking third T20I century, India beat England by seven wickets in the third T20I at Bristol and sealed the three-match series 2-1. That win also extended India's win record in three-match T20I bilateral series to 8-0.
After winning the toss, Virat Kohli had no hesitation in deciding to bowl first. The hosts immediately set about proving that that was a mistake as they raced to 100 in no time. But Hardik Pandya ran through the middle-order and finished with four wickets as England eventually stuttered and stumbled their way to 198/9 in 20 overs.
In response, India lost Shikhar Dhawan cheaply again. Although KL Rahul got a start, even he was dismissed before the end of the powerplay. But that brought Kohli to the crease alongside Rohit and the pair put on 89 runs to set the platform for the chase. Although the Indian captain fell seven short of a fifty, Rohit got his century and Pandya sealed the victory with a six as India got over the line with seven wickets and eight balls to spare.
Here are 5 reasons why England lost the third T20I at Bristol:
Failure to capitalize on another splendid start
Even though the likes of Alex Hales and Jonny Bairstow had done well at the top for England, the decision to try out Jason Roy and Jos Buttler as openers signalled just one thing. The hosts want to maximise any chance they have of getting off to a great start during the powerplay.
And once again Roy and Buttler got the hosts off to the perfect start. At the end of the powerplay, thanks to Roy's blitzkrieg, England had already put on 73 without losing a wicket. And scoring rate didn't really go down after that as the two openers kept up the momentum. When Buttler was eventually dismissed by Siddarth Kaul, England were closing in on a century, inside eight overs.
That was just the perfect platform for a middle-order that boasted of Alex Hales, Eoin Morgan, Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow. Instead, things didn't go according to plan. From 94-1 after 7.5 overs, they finished with 198/9 from their 20 overs.
Eoin Morgan admitted as much in the post-match presentation when he said: "Roy and Buttler prove a dominant force at the top, we didn't do their platform justice. Probably fell between 20-30 short, just in our execution of shots."