Cardiff A dominant opening win has set the tone and India would look to ensure that a spin-wary England remains on the back-foot when the two sides clash in the second T20 International, here today.
Kuldeep Yadav took 5-24 and KL Rahul scored an unbeaten second T20I ton as the Men in Blue produced a fine all-round display to stun the hosts by eight wickets in Manchester for an early lead on this tour.
India stand on the cusp of a sixth successive T20I series’ win — a run stretching back to their 2-1 win over New Zealand at home in November 2017. In all, they have been unbeaten in bilateral T20I series since September last year. In terms of ICC Rankings, a 2-0 series’ lead will allow India to close the gap with second-placed Australia, while a 3-0 whitewash will help them overleap to second behind top-ranked Pakistan. Australia will have to win both their next two games in the ongoing tri-series in Zimbabwe to stay above India. A loss on Friday will see England drop down to rank seven below New Zealand, South Africa and West Indies, respectively.
It will be a surprising downturn for the high-flying English team, one of the better in limited-overs’ cricket at the moment. It is a stark reminder of their poor winning ratio nevertheless, having won only 5 out of their last 10 T20 internationals.
The big question facing England is how to contend with the unorthodox wrist spin of Kuldeep Yadav. In the aftermath of their loss on Tuesday, both skipper Eoin Morgan and ace batsman Jos Buttler have urged their teammates to show more patience at the crease and watch the ball carefully. But with such a short turnaround in the fixtures’ list, it is easier said than done.The visitors are unlikely to make a change and disturb their winning combination and the pacers will have to learn from the experience of bowling on such batsmen-friendly pitches.PTI
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