India vs England T20 International Matches have always been the ones to look forward to. Ever since the first T20I that was played between the two nations in the inaugural T20WC back in 2007, we have witnessed some highly riveting contests between them.
With England and India both winning 6 matches a piece out of the 12 encounters between them (till the 3rd T20I of Vitality series 2018 in England), the teams have always been inspired by some amazing performances by the players, along with an all-round team effort.
From Yuvraj Singh's six sixes in an over in 2007 to Yuzvendra Chahal's six wickets in an innings in 2017, the Indian players have given awe-inspiring entertainment to the audience in this shortest format of the game.
With the recent 3-Match T20I series ending 2-1 in favour of India, the decider was a crisp high-scoring match as a very good team effort and an excellent knock by Rohit Sharma helped India chase down 199 with rather ease.
While we saw a series which had amazing individual performances galore, let's take a look at the Top 5 Individual Performances by Indian players in all the India v England T20Is ever played.
#5. Rohit Sharma (100* In 56 Balls)
When this man gets going, it is the most beautiful sight in world cricket. No other batsman can look as pleasing and beautiful while playing big shots as Rohit Sharma does. Not even AB De Villiers, yes, for me, not even Mr.360.
It's hard to stop this man when his lazy-elegance batting display takes over. And there are many instances to prove it. Three ODI Double Hundreds and three T20I 100s. That’s a stuff of a world-class player.
Rohit Sharma was back to the land where his career started as a 2.0 version. It was in the Champions Trophy 2013 in England where he was asked by then-captain MS Dhoni to open the innings, and since then, we all have seen the Rohit Sharma we were waiting for since 2007.
After playing two ordinary knocks i the first two T20Is of the series, India needed there best white-ball player (after Kohli? well we'll leave that for you) to take matters into his own hands. Chasing 199 to win the series, the ever trolled Hitman smashed the English bowlers all over the park to complete his third T20I Century and help India win with a over and a half to spare. Rohit was back at his best, and gave our eyes a treat with his ever sweet shots.
Want to know why such appreciation for his playing style? Go back and watch ball 10.3 of India's innings in the 3rd T20I match.
#4. KL Rahul(101* in 54 balls)
Want to see how a batsman bats when he is in prime form? Watch KL Rahul's century against England in England in the first T20I of Vitality T20 series. Just wow! It's difficult to put that innings into words!
KL Rahul had come off an amazing IPL 2018 as he looked in sublime form throughout the tournament. From there, he carried on his form to the UK a month later to absolutely clobber the English bowlers. Chasing 160, Rahul, who came in at No.3 gave the viewers an eye-candy level of batting display to win the match for India with utmost ease.
The stylish Karnataka lad struck 10 fours and 5 beautiful sixes in what was his first innings on English sores. First innings and such a classy 100 while chasing!
You all know this wasn't the only brilliant individual performance by an Indian in this match. Hop over to the next slide.
#3. Yuzvendra Chahal (6 for 25)
What was meant to be a thriller of a match, was made into one of India's easiest T20I wins over England, courtesy this man - Yuzvendra Chahal.
The series was hanging at 1-1 going into the decider, and India posted 202/6 after a strong display by veterans Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni, and Yuvraj Singh. What came in the 2nd innings shocked one and all, of course, with happiness if you're an Indian.
England had gained momentum at the right time and were 117-2 after 13 overs and that's when a thunder in the form of Chahal struck them. Next 21 balls: 10 runs and 7 WICKETS! Who would have imagined such a collapse? 5 of those 7 were dismissed by Chahal who ended up with 6 wickets as he became the first Indian bowler to take a 5-fer in a T20I match.
The Bangalore pitch is of course very well familiar to Chahal and he made full use of those conditions to make merry of the English players. Jasprit Bumrah finished off with 3 wickets to give India the win.
This win gave India it's yet another T20I series victory and the first for Virat Kohli as a captain.
Surprised to see Chahal at No.3 in this list? Well, we've got explanations. Jump over to the next slide.
#2. Kuldeep Yadav (5/24 in 4 overs)
You don't often see an Indian spinner taking 5 wickets in a match in England, especially in T20s. What Kuldeep Yadav delivered in the 1st T20I of the series was pure Magic. Spin Wizardry.
The Chinaman bowler was on his first trip to the UK with the Indian team, totally deprived of the conditions, and yet, bamboozled the English batsmen with sheer art of wrist bowling.
With the start the in-form duo of Jason Roy and Jos Butler gave the English team, they were looking set for at least 200 with the Goliath level batting that was to follow. Kuldeep had other plans. First, he created pressure on Hales along with the other bowlers, and then snatched the spine of the England batting line up in a space of few balls.
After getting Hales out in his 2nd over, he took the wickets of Morgan, Root and Bairstow in just 4 balls in his 3rd over to put Indians in the driving seat. He then took the in-form Buttler in his last over to complete a skillful 5 wicket haul. England never recovered and managed a below par 159. Which, well, was chased down with ease courtesy of Rahul's 101*.
The reason Kuldeep's 5-wicket haul was better than Chahal's 6, for me, was because of the English condition and the form that the English batsmen were in, all of them. Kudos to our new generation wrist-spinners.
With so many brilliant performances having been played in the past, it will be an injustice to 2 awesome match-winning performances being left out without any mentions. So here are those before revealing our #1.
Harbhajan Singh. (4-2-12-4)
The 2012 T20 WC in Sri Lanka might not have been a remarkable one for the Indian team, but the match against England brought back old memories.
Bhajji, in what turned out to be his last major tournament for the Indian team, gave a splendid performance in the match against England.
Defending 171, the 'Turbanator' helped India to dismiss England for a partly 70!!! He took 4 wickets while giving away only 12 runs in his 4 overs which had 2 maiden overs! Now that's some classy stuff from India's most successful off-spinner ever and that helped him bag the Man of the Match award.
Hardik Pandya. (4/33 & 33* in 14 balls)
Often regarded as India's new cricketing superstar and the answer to India's long-term all-rounder woes, the man from Mumbai Indians came on his own on Sunday during the 3rd T20I.
After getting smashed for 23 in his first over, he came back strongly as he picked up 4 wickets in his next 3 overs to help India restrict England to 198, who were looking set to score above 220 at one time.
Later in the second innings, after getting promoted ahead of the likes of Raina and Dhoni, he played the perfect finishing role by scoring a quick-fire 33* off just 14 balls and ended the match with a huge six over long-on. This has to be the best all-round performance by any player in any Eng v Ind T20I match.
#1. Yuvraj Singh (58 off 16 balls)
This was expected, wasn't it? THIS had to be at #1. THIS is what will be etched in our memories forever. THIS is what made him the Sixer King. THIS, was LEGENDARY.
6 sixes. 6 huge sixes in an over. 36 in one over. Stuart Broad was mowed all over the park by our Prince of Punjab.
In a must win match for India in the inaugural World T20 tournament in South Africa, Yuvraj Singh produced simply an absolute scintillating knock at the most important phase of the game. He struck a 12-ball 50, which is still an International record, to take India to a grand total of 218/4 in their 20 overs.
What actually led up to this unforgettable over taking place was an abusive verbal fight that took place between Yuvraj Singh and Andrew Flintoff, who had bowled the previous over.
Speaking in an interview to Simi Garewal for Star World, Yuvraj later revealed how the conversation between the two went.
Recalling the incident, Yuvi said Flintoff told him, "‘Those were ******* ridiculous shots’, because I had hit him for two boundaries in that over. I said, ‘ **** you’. Then he said, ‘Excuse me?’ I said, ‘You heard what I said. And he said I will cut your throat off. I said you see this bat in my hand. You know where I gonna hit you with this bat?'
What transpired a few minutes later was, as they say, is history.
666666. Never forgetting it.
Indeed, the Greatest Individual Performance in an India vs England T20I match.
What are your thoughts?