England vs India, T20 series- Rating the performance of Indian Players
Kudos to Virat Kohli for leading India to their first ever T20 series win in England. His decision to play KL Rahul in the 3rd spot instead of himself and giving an opportunity to Deepak Chahar in the final fixture were masterstrokes.
With the bat in hand, Kohli was not that far behind as a performer. Batting at the unusual #4, thanks to Rahul playing at #3, Kohli contributed to the team's scoreboard in every match with scores of 20, 47 and 43 in the three fixtures giving him a grand total of 110 runs.
In fact, it was his knock of 47 runs, and his partnership with MS Dhoni in second T20I, that propelled India to a respectable total. While definitely not on the level at which he played in South Africa, Kohli still had a pretty good series.
This was supposed to be the comeback series for Suresh Raina, the series where he would announce his return at the International stage, but, as it turned out, it wasn't supposed to be since the matches usually finished before he could come out to bat.
In fact, Raina didn't even get a chance to bat in the first and the final fixtures as Indian won both of them convincingly. In the only match that he batted in, Raina scored a calm and composed 27 from 20 balls and assisted Kohli by building a solid partnership with Kohli.
Even in that short period, Raina looked quite comfortable and, more importantly, confident while facing the English fast bowlers. It will be interesting to see how he performs in the upcoming ODI series.
Just like his Chennai Super Kings teammate, the former Indian skipper didn't get enough opportunities to bat in this series and came out to bat only once, and that also in the only match that India lost in the series.
MS Dhoni, however, looked in sublime form in that knock of 32 runs from just 24 balls. It was, however, his work behind the stumps that will earn him a couple of extra points.
Dhoni affected 8 dismissals from behind the stumps, which included 5 catches and a run out in the final match and 2 stumpings in the opening match. Dhoni will be looking to play some big innings in the longer format over the next weeks.
Believe it or not, but there is a very good chance that this tour might turn out to be career changing one for Hardik Pandya. Always regarded as the weakest bowler in the team, Pandya emerged as the highest wicket-taker for the team in this series.
While he continued playing a strong role as a helpful lower order batsman with a knock of 12 runs and a swashbuckling 33 from 14 balls in the final IT20, his disciplined bowling throughout the series earned him 6 wickets, which included a game-changing 4 wickets in Bristol.
Pandya seems to be improving with the ball day by day, and, if his performance in this series is a sign, he will be a vital cog for the team for the remaining tour.