Former England spinner Graeme Swann has praised the Three Lions for using the pace of Mark Wood and Jofra Archer cleverly in the first T20I against India, which they won comfortably. He also added that England introduced leggie Adil Rashid early for Shikhar Dhawan and not Virat Kohli.
India were bullied by the pace and bounce of the English pacers who had a phenomenal game, especially Jofra Archer and Mark Wood. Jofra took the important wickets of KL Rahul, Hardik Pandya and Shardul Thakur while Wood got better of Shikhar Dhawan and they ended with figures of 3/23 and 1/20 respectively. They hurried the Indian batsmen and also troubled them with the bounce. Chris Wood, in particular, was bowling thunderbolts and had an average speed close to 150 clicks in the encounter. While Archer also did an exceptional job all throughout the game.
Chris Jordan also bowled well and had an economy rate of 6.8 while Adil Rashid took the prized scalp of Virat Kohli and wasn't bowled out as on a slow wicket with England pacers bowling as many as 17 overs on the same deck that India played three spinners. Former England spinner Graeme Swann reckoned that England were great with their plans and used the pace from the wicket and their bowlers cleverly.
“England’s plans were very very good. They used the pace of Wood and Archer. England were very clever. India on the back of Virat Kohli's comments. He said he wanted his team to be brave and maybe they were a bit too eager. It’s difficult when you’ve not played much T20 cricket recently to get into the rhythm of things straightaway. The first thing England did was to win the toss and bowling first. It allows you to settle into the game and it’s very hard to set a total (in T20s) rather than chasing it,” Swann said, reported HT.
For only the second time in his T20I career, leg-spinner Adil Rashid bowled in the powerplay and he had a great night as he took the important wicket of Indian skipper Virat Kohli that too before the 32-year-old could even open his account. Swann felt that he was brought into the attack for Dhawan and not Kohli.
“I think Adil Rashid was bowling in the powerplay for Shikhar Dhawan. England have an idea that Shikhar Dhawan likes to play that big slog sweep and he likes pace on the ball early on. So he (Rashid) was not actually on for Virat Kohli but as it turned out, it became a masterstroke. It wasn’t that delivery (from Rashid) that got him out. It was the balls before he faced from Archer, a snorting short ball,” Swann said.