New Delhi, Jan 27: India's shambolic defeat at the hands of England in the first T20 international in Kanpur showed there was big difference in the approach of both the teams, in terms of shorter format.
England completly outclassed the Indians in every department of the game at Green Park to take a significant 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
Fifth-ranked England side, thrashed second-ranked India in their own backyard which is a rarity these days under the leadership of Virat Kohli. But the ICC rankings hardly do any justice to the talented and balanced T20I side that England is at this moment.
They have a deep batting line up and batsmen capable of pulling off things easily for their side. While the bowling unit is experienced enough to defend a decent total against any side. ('Precise' England played better cricket than us: Kohli)
India's charismatic captain Kohli, during post match presentation, admitted that his side fell short of 35-40 runs against visitors which is studded with some of the best power hitters in the business.
England executed their plans well:
England kept things tight for India from the start and never allowed the game slip away from their hands. First restricting hosts to a paltry 147 in 20 overs, the visitors then took on the offensive against Indian bowlers while chasing.
"England have played better cricket than us today. We accept that. With the ball, in the field and with the bat, they were precise," Kohli said after the match.
"Today England performed the way we know they can. Credit to their bowlers for bowling hard lengths, they extracted pace and bounce. As I said, they were precise."
Kohli accepted that his team has to learn to respond when the opposition is dominating for their body language in Kanpur wasn't positive. Even the intensity of the hosts was visibly less than their English counterparts.
India were coming after a ODI series win against England, but their performance in the first T20 was disappointing.
England bowlers restricted Indian batters to a low score:
England's excution of plan was much better than India's and even their playing combination looked more settled. They read the conditions well and everyone played their roles to perfection.
The visitors' prime objective after winning the toss was to restrict India to a low total and their bowlers kept the Indian guns silent on a pitch conducive for batting.
Barring Kohli and Suresh Raina, no Indian batsman looked to dominate England bowlers. Raina (34) was the only player to hit a six in the Indian innings.
Getting hit for just one six speaks volumes about their preparation as a bowling unit.
MS Dhoni (36*) might have been the top scorer for the side but his bat was mostly silent, thanks to some clever death over bowling by England pacers.
Contrary to his reputation of being an aggressive batsman in the death overs, the former India captain couldn't explode the way team and fans wanted him to. He could only hit three boundaries in his innings, two of them came off in the last over.
Dhoni was never allowed to play freely as wickets kept falling at regular intervals from the other end but his presence at the crease didn't came of any help to the side. Had he played aggressively between 16 and 20th over, things could have been different for the hosts.
Indian middle-order failed to perform:
Also, no middle-order batsman showed any positive intent or aggression against English bowlers. There were no power hitters lower down the order in the Playing XI at Kanpur and opener KL Rahul's dismissal early in the innings prevented the hosts from taking the advantage of powerplay.
Presence of an explosive batsman in young Rishabh Pant could have been a better option for India instead of playing out of form Manish Pandey. 19-year-old Pant played aggressivley for India A during second warm-up match against England.
While India's Playing XI looked confused, England on the other hand looked settled and menacing from top to bottom. Thus, captain Kohli as well as the team management must do some serious brainstorming before the second T20I.
Hence, it will be interesting to see if captain Kohli, who has never repeated same team in Tests, changes the Playing XI in the must win second match in Nagpur, starting Sunday (January 29).