England skipper Eoin Morgan said that his side were happy after restricting India to 185, knowing dew was around, but admitted that they lost the game in the final four overs of the chase. After being in firm control at one stage, England choked at the end to lose the game by 8 runs.
For the third time in four matches, England won the toss and put India into bat, but unlike the first two instances, India, this time around, put up a par total. Propelled by debutant Suryakumar Yadav’s fifty, the Men in Blue put up 185 on the board and, for the first time in the series, gave England a tough total to chase. After starting conservatively in the chase, England were in firm control at one stage when Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes were thwarting the spinners, but losing three wickets in the span of nine balls took the game away from the Three Lions, who went on to lose the contest by 8 runs.
Reflecting on the defeat, skipper Eoin Morgan said that he was pleased with the bowling effort, but admitted that his side lost the game post the 15th over of chase, where they lost wickets in a cluster.
“We were very happy at the half way stage knowing that dew was around. The ball didn't turn much and we were in control. In overs 16 and 17 we lost three wickets in eight balls and that set us back,” Morgan said in the post-match presentation, reported Cricbuzz.
“It just leaves too much for the bowlers against a top quality side. Bairstow and Stokes got themselves in. Starting fresh isn't easy, but they managed to negate that. Their experience took over and they took their options.”
The momentum in the game swung back and forth, as India and England kept exchanging blows before India delivered the knockout punch in the form of Shardul Thakur’s 17th over. Morgan said that England are just trying to learn as much as they can before the World T20, which will be played in India in eight months time.
“It's definitely been the closest game so far and India played much better and thoroughly deserve the win. There was a lot more dew throughout the game and the game ebbed and flowed a lot. The swing and momentum of the game went back to India and the the last over made it interesting. We are just trying to learn as much as we can in this series. The progression to the World Cup in seven months is important.”
England, today, had the opportunity to close out the series, but defeat now means that the series is tied at 2-2, with the decider set to be played on Saturday. Morgan admitted that his men have “all to play for” now.
“We really want to play in must win games like these. Certainly all to play for now. Playing away from home and winning will be great.”