The deciding match of the India against England T20I series, takes place on Wednesday at the M Chinnaswamy Stadium in Bangalore, with series beautifully poised at 1-1, after the hosts narrow victory on Sunday in Nagpur.
England once again looked the better balanced T20 unit in Nagpur, but despite looking likely winners for long periods of the contest, they ultimately came up 5-runs short.
On one of the larger grounds in India, and a slow low bouncing strip, accumulation and not big hitting was the name of the game. England’s bowlers once more soon adapted to the playing conditions and with the seamers bowling back of a length, India’s batsmen found it difficult to find the boundary.
Chris Jordan proving the best of the tourists bowlers, finishing with 3-22, his second best figures in T20I’s. While Moeen Ali proved highly effective, just as he had in the first fixture, ending with 1-20 from his four overs. Ali has bowled his eight overs in the two matches of the series as an economy rate of only just over five runs per over.
Only KL Rahul with 71 from 47 deliveries found a way of dominating the tourists bowling attack, and was largely responsible for his side posting a final total of 144-8. His score equalled the highest individual innings in a T20I between India and England, Eoin Morgan having scored 71 off of just 31 balls at Edgbaston in 2014.
Although England lost wickets at regular intervals, with Joe Root playing superbly to anchor the innings, and Ben Stokes providing acceleration just when it was required, striking 38 from 27 deliveries, his best score in a T20I, the tourists seemed to be timing their run chase to perfection.
However, with eight runs needed from the final over, delivered by Jasprit Bumrah, England were on the receiving end of a dreadful umpiring decision, that saw Root given out LBW, when he had clearly hit the ball first.
Buttler was bowled leg stump, and with Ali unable to hit the six needed from the last ball of the innings, India had held their nerve in front of a tense capacity crowd, to square the series.