This was India's 4th three-match T20I series win    IANS
This was India’s 4th three-match T20I series win IANS

England had a tough time this Indian winter. They lost Test series 0-4, followed by 1-2 drubbing in the ODIs. The only respite for them was their victories in the final ODI and the opening clash of the T20I series, emerging triumphant. Heading into the third and final T20I at Bengaluru’s Chinnaswamy Stadium, with the series levelled at 1-1, England had a chance to end the gruelling tour on a high. They started off exceedingly well, for they dismissed Virat Kohli in the very second over. However, little did they know that was the last time they would heave a sigh. Fifties from MS Dhoni and Suresh Raina, followed by Yuzvendra Chahal’s 6 for 25, helped India thrash England by 75 runs, thus winning series 2-1. Here are marks out of 10 for both teams:

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Virat Kohli (5/10): 52 runs at 17.33 do not sound like Kohli’s numbers. Not that he was out of sorts, but he was run out for 2 in the final match. Otherwise, he had scored in the 20s in the first two T20Is. In terms of captaincy, there was not much for him to do. He had a team that boasts of talent, experience, and performance. However, he gets extra points for motivating Jasprit Bumrah when England needed 8 off 6 in the Nagpur T20I. Bumrah was asking me what to do every ball (in the final over). I just told him to back his skills. Even if it goes for a six, you still wake up tomorrow. It s not the end of the world.

At the same time, few points should be deducted for giving a mouthful to KL Rahul when he was run out. But that is Kohli. He never shies away from expressing himself, be it good or bad. Regardless, he should not forget the fact that he is the captain of the side.

KL Rahul (8/10): Chris Jordan sent down a nasty bouncer in the first T20I to catch Rahul by surprise. It was his fourth successive failure since the ODI series. Kohli, at the post-match conference, expressed belief in Rahul’s abilities and said India will give him another nod.

Rahul stayed true to his captain’s words and expectations. He scored 71 off 47 out of team’s 144 in the second T20I a match that was do-or-die for India. He then followed it up with 22 and stitched 61-run stand with Suresh Raina.

Rahul gets extra points for his athletic fielding at the boundary line.

Suresh Raina (8/10): Making a comeback after ICC World T20 in a team that has solid bench strength is not a cakewalk. Raina knew the importance of this series. He started off with 34 off 23, playing at No. 3. Nonetheless, in the second match he managed 7 off 10. The swords were out, for India did not have enough runs. If not that, the series was on the line.

Defending a mere 145 against the might of England batting was an uphill task. Though India eventually won it with the help of Bumrah and Ashish Nehra’s death bowling, Raina’s 4-0-30-0 helped India contain the onslaught. To put things into perspective, Stokes had hit a six and a four in Raina’s last over. Otherwise, he was spot on with his line and length.

Raina gets extra points for ending the series with a fifty, helping India post over 200. On the other hand, he also gets a bonus for patting on Chahal’s back when Dhoni gave the leg-spinner an angry stare. Such is Raina. Cheerful as ever.

Yuvraj Singh (4/10): Had Yuvraj Singh not scored 27 off 10 in the final match, we would have rated him even lower. He did not bowl at all. And to make matters worse, he dropped a catch standing at short third-man. All in all, Yuvraj could not emulate what he did in the ODI series.

MS Dhoni (6/10): Dhoni saves the best for the last. It is a well-known fact. However, thanks to Kohli that he requested his former captain to bat at No. 4.

Dhoni scored 56 off 36 and smashed the English bowlers to nothingness. He gets extra points for his remarkable wicketkeeping. I wonder how he makes it look so easy. All in all, he scored 97 runs at 48.5, with a strike rate of 138.5.

Manish Pandey (5/10): He made way for Rishabh Pant in the last match. At one point, it seemed Pant would bat up the order. However, as Dhoni walked in ahead of Yuvraj, it was evident that Pant was Pandey’s replacement at No. 6.

Pandey had a decent series. His timely 30 and a partnership with Rahul helped India score past 140 in the second T20I, eventually winning the match by 5 runs. He gets extra point for saving vital runs in the field.

Rishabh Pant (5/10): It is difficult to rank a player on the basis of one match. All the same, he took an all-important catch in the deep to dismiss the dangerous Eoin Morgan. He also stayed unbeaten on 5 off 3, including a boundary in the penultimate over.

Hardik Pandya (3/10): 11 runs and no wickets prove that Pandya had a very little role to play. In addition, he did not get to bowl in the second match. But again, he gets extra points for his fielding skills.

Parvez Rasool (5/10): In his debut match, India lost by 7 wickets. He scored 5 runs and his bowling figures read 4-0-32-1. Besides, it was good to see him holding the series trophy.

Jasprit Bumrah (9/10): He conceded only 2 when England needed 8 off the last over. To add fuel to the fire, he took two crucial wickets of Joe Root and Jos Buttler in the same over. To follow this stunning performance, he ended the series with figures of 3 for 14.

He loses that one point for failing to apply himself in the series opener. All in all, he scalped 5 wickets at 12, with an economy of 6.20.

Ashish Nehra (9/10): His knack of taking crucial wickets and providing breakthroughs has not faded away one bit. Had he not dismissed the English openers and bowled brilliantly in death overs of the second T20I, England may as well have sealed the series.

He ended the spectacle by starting off with a maiden over to Jason Roy.

Amit Mishra (9/10): He did not get a nod until the second T20I despite being in the squad. If not Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja, it was Rasool in the first T20I who was picked ahead of Mishra.

While he dismissed Morgan in the second T20I, he got the better of Roy in the final. He took these two wickets at 24, with an economy of 6.

He loses that on crucial point for overstepping when he castled Stokes with a peach of a delivery.

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Jason Roy (5/10): 19, 10, and 32 do not justify Roy’s batsmanship. He is far better than this. We saw that in the ODIs. Though his 32 was timely, the rash shot off Mishra put England in a spot of bother. At that point, England needed a set batsman of his class to score big, and see them through. He loses half the points for his poor shot-selection.

Sam Billings (4/10): He struggled at the top-order. Perhaps he bats better down the order when the ball does not move much. However, he failed to lay strong foundation for the middle-order to exploit.

Joe Root (8/10): He is class-apart. That flick over deep mid-wicket was evidence to the viewpoint. Be it Raina’s hoick, Kohli’s roll of the wrist, or Dhoni’s heave, no shot matches Root’s batsmanship. Scoring 126 at 63.00 with a strike rate of 104.13 proves his role at No. 3. Having power-hitters in the ranks, Root’s role was to hang around. And he did so with conviction.

He loses 2 points to carry on the momentum when the team needed him the most.

Eoin Morgan (8/10): He is a brave captain. Though he wears calm on his face, he showed belligerence in making few bowling changes. Introducing spinners against the likes of Raina was a tough call to make. Nonetheless, that worked on a number of occasions.

There is no question about his batting abilities. He scored 108 runs at 36, including an essential fifty in the series opener the only victory for England this series. In addition, his 21-ball 40 in the final revived England’s hopes, in the pursuit of a colossal 203-run target.

He loses 2 points for failing to continue till the end.

Jos Buttler (3/10): England’s best batsman in limited-overs for the past 2 years could not weave his magic. Agreed that T20 cricket leaves very little time for the players to get in the groove, but England needed Buttler to use his long handle to annihilating effect. He managed 15 runs at 7.5

Ben Stokes (7/10): He dismissed Raina in the first match, at a crucial juncture, when the southpaw had got his eye in. He emulated the same in the final encounter when Rahul had found his feet. He is indeed England’s man with a golden ball. Otherwise, he scored 46 runs at 23.

Moeen Ali (8/10): Be it any format, he continues his stellar performance. Series after series, he maintains his consistency without hogging the limelight. He took 3 wickets at 23.6, but his economy reads 5.91 against the might of the famed Indian batting. He loses 2 points for scoring only 3 runs in 2 matches. Besides, that is not his fault. He came in such situations that there was little to do, to save the team.

Chris Jordan (7/10): Things were all fine for Jordan until he reached Bengaluru. Dismissing Rahul, Kohli, and Dhoni in the second T20I was a gist of what he can do with his array of bowling variations. However, those were reduced to rubble, for his figures read 4-0-56-1. Given the nature of the track, there was very little he could do to make amends.

Liam Plunkett (2/10): He had played an ODI series in India a decade ago. He was mindful of what it takes to bowl on subcontinental tracks. But again, he could not implement his skills, leaking runs at 9 an over, with 2 wickets to his name.

Liam Dawson (1/10): Plunkett’s namesake got only 2 overs to display his skills. His figures read 2-0-20-0. He, in all honesty, will not like this report card.

Adil Rashid (3/10): Except Raina’s wicket and Yuvraj’s catch running forward, Rashid did not play a pivotal role this series. Unlike his Indian counterparts Chahal and Mishra, Rashid’s leg-spinners did not catch batsmen in trance.

Tymal Mills (10/10): He clocks 150 kmph. He has a slower delivery in his armoury. He bowls according to the field. He bowls according to the batsman’s weakness. All in all, he is a smart cricketer, and more importantly he understands the mechanisms of the shortest format.

He dismissed the likes of Pandya, Pandey, and Yuvraj in the death overs.