Brett’s watch list: Man of the Match contenders for 4th India-England T20I
The absence of fans at Ahmedabad’s Motera Stadium seems to have hurt the Indian cricket team in the 3rd T20I, as they went down in the five-match series for the second time. England showcased a sumptuous bowling performance in the beginning and while Virat Kohli lifted the spirit at the death, it just wasn’t enough to contain the English army.
With the series now swinging in England’s court, I give you my four picks who I believe could deliver a Man of the Match performance in the 4th T20I.
It’s hard to say India missed Rohit Sharma in the 2nd T20I given how well Ishan Kishan lived upto the potential. Rohit’s return in the 3rd T20I nonetheless is a welcome sign for India given the fact that KL Rahul is yet to do anything positive with the bat. While his initial struggle against Jofra Archer was evident, he did manage to put 15 runs on the board. So now that he’s back in the fold, I’m expecting him to score a big total in the next match.
Being the leader of India’s pace bowling attack in the series, expectations on Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s shoulders are heavy. And while he hasn’t been amongst the wickets so far, he has managed to be economical. In fact, since 2018, he has bowled at an economy of under six during the powerplay overs in T20Is. It’s just the wickets that are keeping him short-handed, but I’ve been left impressed with his overall approach.
Jos Buttler has had a mixed series so far. Scoring 28 in the first T20I, the England opener got out on a golden duck in the second, and this was followed by a stunning half-century in the third. For someone who has been struggling for runs, a spirited unbeaten 83 will bode well for England, especially ahead of the T20 World Cup later in the year. With England now leading the series once again, I reckon Buttler will approach the game with less pressure, and this might culminate in an even better individual performance.
Chris Jordan hasn’t enjoyed much success in the series so far. He had conceded a total of 65 runs in the opening two matches while picking just two wickets. While his poor form has somehow been overshadowed by the likes of Jofra Archer and Mark Wood, he certainly needed a confidence booster, and the 3rd match, where he picked two wickets, was much of a reliever. It’s good to see him getting back on the horse, and if England are to win the series, I personally feel Jordan needs to be on the top of his game as well.