Kohli plays blinder as India finish on 156 for 6 vs England

Ahmedabad, Mar 16 (PTI) Skipper Virat Kohli’s magnificence overshadowed an otherwise ordinary batting performance as India recovered from a difficult situation to manage a decent 156 for 6 against England in the third T20 International here on Tuesday. Skipper Kohli (77 not out, 46 balls) picked opposition’s hostile fast bowler Mark Wood (3/31 in 4 overs) for some special treatment in the 18th over with some “gourmet hitting” that changed the course of the innings after England put India under the pump at 86 for 5. Wood’s thunderbolts at 90 plus miles per hour found the younger Indian batsmen in considerable discomfort. Woods didn’t do anything extra but bowled fast and straight, mixing the well disguised short pitched stuff to get them into a tangle. Save Kohli, other Indian youngsters found it difficult to put bat to ball as pace and bounce off the pitch worked wonders for English speed merchants. The Indian skipper with his near perfect technique fought fire with fire, playing those pull shots and the lofted hit, shuffling towards leg stump and making room for himself. He was lucky when his mistimed flick to a short ball fetched him a six but then the second flick was perfectly dispatched to the longest corner for a maximum. But the shot of the night was a straight six off Wood, which made the bowler take his time to finish the over. Not to forget the shape which he was in while executing a ramp shot off Jofra Archer. The partnership with Hardik Pandya (17 off 15 balls) fetched 70 off 5.3 overs but it was all about Kohli for the better part as the Baroda all-rounder was struggling to time the ball. But others were not so lucky with Wood making life miserable for them. KL Rahul (0) was once again in the midst of a forgettable patch where all the good deliveries were being earmarked for him. Wood bowled one at 91 mph, one that pitched on length and nipped back enough to breach through the opener’s defence before he could bring his bat down. Rohit Sharma (15 off 17 balls) was playing his first game of the series and while he managed to read Adil Rashid’s googlies well, Wood’s well directed bouncer got him as he was holed out in the deep. Ishan Kishan (4), after a dream debut, got a hostile welcome from Wood, who managed to soften the Jharkhand dasher. The result was Chris Jordan extracting extra bounce and the ill-timed pull shot brought his downfall as the hosts looked in complete disarray.


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