England level T20 series with India after belting 12 from final over

Umesh Yadav

A dominant opening win has set the tone and India would look to ensure that a spin-wary England remains on the back-foot when the two sides clash in the second T20 worldwide, on Friday. A win tomorrow would seal the three-match series for Virat Kohli and Co.

The recent assumption had been that Alex Hales would give way for Stokes - who will play only as a batsman as he manages his recovery from a grade three hamstring tear - but Hales's recent form has been stunning, striking 147 off 92 balls in the demolition of Australia (and the world record score for an ODI) at Trent Bridge... India's last series defeat with more one T20I game also came against the reigning T20I champions, in Florida in 2016.

Captain Eoin Morgan acknowledged Hales' unbeaten 58 - including a six off the first ball of the miserly Bhuvneshwar Kumar's last over when England still needed 12 to win - had made a strong case for his continued inclusion in Bristol on Sunday, even if Stokes is available for the final T20.

After yesterday's victory, Eoin Morgan, the English limited overs skipper, put forth their tactic of bringing players midway for the benefit of the team.

The big question facing England is how to contend with the unorthodox wrist spin of Kuldeep Yadav.

England opener Jason Roy bludgeoned 14 runs off Umesh Yadav's first over, only to go to the first ball of his second, while Jos Buttler and Root were soon gone too.

India usually boasts of a top order of the highest class but today was one such day where they were off colours.

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It is perhaps the only real concern for India emanating from that first game as the enforced new-ball pairing of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav was proven ineffective at Old Trafford.

Yadav and Chahal, who have dominated opposition for past year for India, face their first real challenge against a "well-prepared" England side.

However, it is tough to see the Indian team management making space for him in the eleven after just one game.

"They (England batsman) played Kuldeep really well".

The India v/s England 3rd T20 worldwide cricket match will be played at Bristol County Ground. After enjoying a sunny welcome both in Dublin and Manchester, the team was greeted to typical English grey skies, light rain and chill when they arrived in Cardiff on Wednesday. It was expected the same in the second match.

The match begins at 6.30 pm IST.

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