India vs England 4th T20I Preview: Win the toss, win the powerplay, win the match
The way England have dominated the powerplay, both with bat and ball, has been the major reason for their ascendancy in the series.
Win the toss, win the match
In the series opener, England won the toss and opted to bowl first. Their chase of 125 turned out to be a cakewalk with the pitch getting easier to bat on as the game moved forward. In the second T20I, India won the toss and put England in to bat. The England batting managed a slightly below-par 164-run total which India chased down comfortably.
In the 3rd T20I, England won the toss again and put India in to bat. They were successful in restricting the opposition to 156 and chased down the total with 10 balls to spare.
Win the powerplay, win the match
More significant than winning the toss in this series has been winning the powerplay. Stats show that if you can pick up three wickets or more in the powerplay as a bowling unit, the chances of victory become very high. This is what England have achieved in this series.
In the first T20I, India were struggling at 20/3 from 4.6 overs and could manage just 22 runs in the powerplay. On the contrary, England scored 50 runs in the powerplay - more than double of India's score - and lost no wicket, which resulted in their 8-wicket victory.
In the 2nd T20I, England stood at 44/1 at the end of the first 6 overs, which is not that bad. But, they could not pick up early wickets which was mainly down to the absence of Mark Wood. As a result, India were able to gain a slight advantage as they stood at 50 for one at the end of the powerplay, courtesy of a fine batting display from debutant Ishan Kishan.
In the 3rd T20I, England landed heavy blows on the Indian batting in the powerplay as well, with the team finishing the mandatory 6-over block at 24 for the loss of their top 3 in Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Ishan Kishan.
The control and pace with which both Mark Wood and Jofra Archer bowled was too good to counter for India. Despite that, India tried to come back in the match and posted 156 after their 20 overs, courtesy of a brilliant half-century from Virat Kohli. However, they were never able to really compensate for what went wrong in the powerplay.
On the contrary, England smashed 57 runs in the batting powerplay for the loss of just one wicket which played a massive role in the team's 8-wicket victory in the 3rd T20I.
Pitch, England bowlers put India's aggressive approach on hold
Indian captain Virat Kohli said in the pre-series press conference that the Indian batsmen would look to be a lot more proactive and aggressive in this series and that will be the template going forward in the T20 World Cup as well. However, after the team was left tottering at 20/3 in the series opener due to an over-aggressive approach before accessing the conditions, they mellowed down thereafter.
Ishan Kishan provided them with the spark in the 2nd T20I but in the last match again, after some quick dismissals, the Indian batting unit had no option but to play a lot more cautiously.
It is the combination of the pitch and the brilliance of the England bowlers which has led India to put their aggressive approach on hold. All the three surfaces dished out in the series till now have not been your typical belters of white-ball cricket, with them being a little bit two-paced.
The strip on offer for the 3rd T20I in particular offered a lot of bounce due to its red soil content, which made the England pace bowlers look all the more lethal. If the trend continues, the Indian batting will have no option but to be a lot more sensible in how they go about their pursuit of finding boundaries, and the percentage of risk it brings along with it.
England are not expected to make any changes to their team. India have the options of bringing in T Natarajan or Navdeep Saini in place of Shardul Thakur and Rahul Tewatia in place of Yuzvendra Chahal.
Here are the probable playing XIs:
India - Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Ishan Kishan, Virat Kohli (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Washington Sundar, Navdeep Saini/T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Yuzvendra Chahal/Rahul Tewatia
England - Jason Roy, Jos Buttler (wk), Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Eoin Morgan (c), Ben Stokes, Sam Curran/Moeen Ali, Jofra Archer, Mark Wood, Chris Jordan, Adil Rashid
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