Mohammed Azharuddin said he expects Rohit Sharma to take his place as opener in 2nd T20I.© BCCI
India made a surprise decision to rest star batsman Rohit Sharma for the opening Twenty20 International (T20I) of the five-match series against England. Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul opened the innings for India, but both failed to make any sort of impact as India put in a poor display with the bat, with England coasting to victory and taking a 1-0 series lead. Ahead of the second T20I on Sunday, former India captain Mohammed Azharuddin said that he was “looking forward” to India playing their best XI and Rohit Sharma returning to the team as the hosts look to draw level in the series.
Looking forward to India playing their best XI this evening. Expect to see @ImRo45 take his place as opener and make us all proud. Very Excited to see this cracker of a T20 match
— Mohammed Azharuddin (@azharflicks) March 14, 2021
India’s batsmen floundered big time in the opening T20I. Captain Virat Kohli, who was far from his best in the preceding Test series against the English, was dismissed for a duck. The likes of Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya showed brief flashes but failed to make a significant contribution.
Shreyas Iyer, though, held his own and fought a lone battle, scoring a fine 67 off 48 balls. However, the stylish right-hander found little support as India were restricted to a below par score of 124 for seven in their 20 overs.
England cruised in the chase as Jason Roy and Jos Buttler gave the visitors a solid start. While Buttler was not at his fluent best, Roy took over the role of the aggressor and scored a 32-ball 49.
Buttler fell to Yuzvendra Chahal while Roy was dismissed by Washington Sundar but by that time, England were well ahead in the match, with India needing a miracle to pull of a win.
There was no miracle coming for Virat Kohli and his team, as Dawid Malan (24 not out) and Jonny Bairstow (26 not out) made sure England didn’t have any more setbacks in the chase as they overhauled the target with 4.3 overs remaining.
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