India’s bowling display was the talk of the town, as they just conceded 35 runs in the last 5 overs to restrict England to 164, something which earnt the appreciation of Zaheer Khan. Michael Vaughan too admitted that Virat Kohli’s manoeuvring of five-bowlers made a huge difference to the 2nd T20I.
After winning the toss and electing to field, the onus was on the bowlers to convert the advantage into a good result. While Bhuvneshwar Kumar was largely ineffective in the first T20I, he made a sharp impact in the second, with the early wicket of Jos Buttler. However, from there on, England made a great comeback in the game, with a steady partnership between Jason Roy and Dawid Malan.
But with the introduction of spinners - Yuzvendra Chahal and Washington Sundar - India restricted the scoring rate in the middle-overs before choking the English batsmen in the death overs. Former Indian pacer Zaheer Khan reckoned that Virat Kohli would be pleased and proud of the perfect bowling display from the five bowlers.
“Well when you are playing with five bowlers, you hope that this is how the bowling scoreboard would look. Virat Kohli would be pleased with the bowling display, Hardik was also back and him bowling those four overs was a good sign for the Indian team,” Zaheer Khan told Cricbuzz.
"Zaheer also pointed out that India’s plans were clear - to not give that one-dimensional pace for the English batsmen, on which they generally feast around. However, the former Indian pacer noted that Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s early strike ensured that Kohli had the liberty and freedom to play around with his bowlers.
"I think India executed their plans really well, the plan was to not give one-dimensional pace to the English batsmen, which they did well. Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s wicket of Jos Buttler allowed Kohli to control the powerplay with Washington Sundar, especially with just five bowlers,” he added.
Meanwhile, Michael Vaughan credited the bowling display from the Indian bowlers at the death, particularly Shardul Thakur, who struck to remove English skipper Eoin Morgan. He also added that Kohli’s leadership on the night was excellent, with the way he manoeuvred the bowling attack. However, Vaughan still insisted that India were slack in the field, something he felt they would have to focus on before World T20.
“When you have just five options, it doesn’t allow the match-ups very much. He manoeuvred those five bowlers really well and that made a difference. However, having said that, India’s fielding efforts were atrocious, they should have easily kept England below 150, if not for their fielding display. If they are going to be ultra-critical of themselves, Virat would surely point out at the fielding performance," he concluded.