Series: India tour of England, 2018. Place: Old Trafford, Manchester.
KL Rahul scored an amazing 101 runs in 54 balls knock as India won by 8-wicket win against England in the first T20I at Old Trafford on Wednesday. Scoring his second T20I hundred, Rahul whacked the English bowlers all over the park hitting 10 boundaries and 5 sixes.
ENG 159/8 (20.0 Ovs)
IND 163/2 (18.2 Ovs)
India won by 8 wkts
PLAYER OF THE MATCH
Kuldeep Yadav, MOM: It is my first tour of England and things are going really well. The conditions are perfect, felt like home. The wicket was dry and that’s why I stuck to my line and length. It’s important that when you bowl a wrong ‘unit has to be in the perfect area. Obviously, when you have two legends (Kohli and Dhoni) you need to take all the advice you can. Things are going well and hopefully, I’d like to take it into the next match.
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) July 3, 2018
Virat Kohli: Just looking at all the three skillsets and how convincing we gave me a lot of pleasure. Some of the younger guys stepping up please us too. We are shuffling around keeping the World Cup in mind and that’s why KL went in at three and I went in at four. Umesh was superb with the new ball as well. Kuldeep is a wrist spinner, he’s going to be lethal with any help from the pitch. It was his one over that turned it for us because England were taking it away before that. He’s very difficult to pick and his wrong ‘un hasn’t been easy and I hope he can keep working on it. At the toss, I didn’t think the wicket wouldn’t change much through the course of the game, but we were lucky to keep them down to 30-40 runs short. With the start they got, I thought they would get to 200. And then the odds were stacked against England. Rahul has come a long way; especially the way he’s been batting since the IPL and in that one game in Ireland – so clean and crisp. We want guys like him to step up. We don’t want to be one-dimensional, we want people going up and down the order. He’s got a great technique, great temperament and is very hungry and today he was a bit emotional because the last century he scored was against England in Chennai and it’s been that long he’s been waiting for. It was a great century and a great sign for Indian cricket. We haven’t changed a lot, I usually bat at three and have dropped to four, but this allows me to control the innings in the middle-overs. It gives someone like KL the freedom to go after in the powerplay. We want our cricketers to be fearless, enjoy themselves just like what Kuldeep and he did today. We don’t want that mindset to change and want to provide a cushion behind them to go after. It may not work out well every time but we need to stick to it. We dropped Jos and we know how dangerous he can be. It was a moment where I felt we needed to hold on to everything and I got the opportunity to convert. I can’t be someone who’s standing on the field doing nothing, I need to be pumped up when I am playing for the country and sometimes that boils over. Luckily that passion has carried on for a while.
Eoin Morgan: I think thoroughly deserved for India. The best part of the game was when Jos Buttler and Jason Roy got off to a fantastic start, but they pulled it back superbly. Three wickets in the middle set us back and we never really gained momentum back from there. And then when a guy like KL Rahul gets going, he’s difficult to stop. Kuldeep is a terrific bowler, we knew he’d be a big threat coming into the series. It is something we need to assess and get back in the next game. When the wicket is that good you have to take your options, it gives you the incentive to go after. We needed to take every half chance possible, but we didn’t and then defending 160 was always going to be difficult. But certainly had we taken them, we’d have been in the game. Today was a game of margins for our spinners; KL chipped one just over. But India played well today and it just wasn’t our day and hopefully, we’ll turn up for the next one. We talk about the crowds every time before an India or a Pakistan game, it has the potential to feel like an away game. The football too is going on and it is a big factor and it something which is very real but India has a great following and we have to deal with it.