Eoin Morgan: “The huge difference in both innings was the ball swinging, if you can get the ball to move off the straight in white-ball cricket specifically it’s a game-changer”; watch the second T20l live on Sky Sports Cricket on Saturday (on air 2pm, first ball 2.30pm)
Last Updated: 08/07/22 9:35am
Jos Buttler tipped his hat to a rampant India side as he conceded England were merely ‘outplayed’ during a 50-run defeat in the first of three T20 internationals at The Ageas Bowl on Thursday night.
It marked a less-than-perfect curtain-raiser to Buttler’s tenure as captain following the retirement of Eoin Morgan as he fell to a first-ball duck off the impressive bowling of Bhuvneshwar Kumar.
His early departure set the tone for an England chase that never quite got going, with the hosts eventually bowled out for 148 in 19.3 overs after being set a target of 199 to win.
- England well beaten by India in Buttler’s first game as permanent captain
- Scorecard: England vs India, first T20 international
“We’ve been outplayed today, I thought India bowled fantastically well with the new ball, they put us under a lot of pressure and we couldn’t really get back in the game from that point,” said Buttler.
“I thought we came back really well in the second half of their innings, we bowled with a lot of bravery, we kept trying to chase wickets and thought maybe a little bit above par, but the way they bowled at the start there, the ball swung quite consistently for the first six overs and they took early wickets.”
India elected to bat and preceded to race out the blocks behind Deepak Hooda (33 off 17) and Suryakumar Yadav (39 off 19), before Player of the Match Hardik Pandya fired 51 from 33 to maintain the front-foot approach.
Such was the high-powered batting that England possessed the contest began to favour the hosts slightly when they managed to hold their opponents shy of the 200 mark.
Instead, Bhuvneshwar and Arshdeep Singh wreaked havoc with their swing bowling, while the outstanding Hardik racked up four wickets to nullify any flicker of momentum that might have been provided by one of Dawid Malan (21), Harry Brook (28) or Moeen Ali (36).
“I think Bhuvneshwar Kumar can swing it most places and he bowled with great control and shaping the ball both ways,” said Buttler.
“It probably swung longer than I can remember in a T20 game, we probably needed to try and hit one into the stands to get it to stop swinging. That didn’t happen and all credit to India, I thought they were fantastic.”
Morgan: Swing bowling the game-changer
Buttler’s predecessor Morgan similarly praised India for their ability to dampen England’s top order, as well as an evident change in mentality to a side that attacked every phase of the game.
“Exceptional, the huge difference in both innings was the ball swinging, if you can get the ball to move off the straight in white-ball cricket specifically it’s a game-changer, an absolute game-changer,” said Morgan.
“You watched the England top order that is normally unbelievably destructive, do nothing and became a little bit of a target. The bowling was exceptional. Not only the level of swing that they showed, but the accuracy as well, to get somebody like Jos Buttler out first ball with the level of accuracy Bhuvneshwar Kumar showed sometimes you’ve got to say ‘well done’ to the opposition.
“The most impressive thing about India for me today is what they lacked in the group stages of the T20 World Cup, they brought.
“Every single one of their batsmen came hard at England’s bowlers and that hasn’t happened in previous teams, previous squads that India have produced.”
The result provides Buttler and head coach Matthew Mott with their first debrief as they seek to issue an immediate response at Edgbaston on Saturday.
Morgan said: “I think it will be interesting to see, new relationship, captain, coach, they need to go through exactly what they want to get out of today’s game or this series, sit back and ask ‘what has changed? what is the most significant moment in the game? who has contributed to it, if anybody? And how do we get better at it?’.
“Jos will do that in his own way, he’s very realistic about things. India have had a brilliant day out, but the games come thick and fast.
“There isn’t a huge amount of time to make drastic changes to what they do.”
Morgan also spared appreciation for the defining contributions of Hardik, who spoke afterwards about his efforts to discover some ‘rhythm’ after a break from competition.
“He’s got to be up there [as India’s most important players] when he can bowl four overs of 90mph with real control, you look at two of the four wickets he took, Liam Livingstone and Sam Curran, both moved early in their crease and he followed them and that’s not an easy thing to do,” said Morgan.
“You have to find the rhythm, your pace, and then to be as accurate as that shows he’s in a really good space.
I know having played in sides with genuine all-rounders such as Hardik Pandya, it’s like having two players in one position.
“For a guy who has been through so much hardship with fitness, can’t bowl, can bowl, to put out a performance as rounded as that is outstanding.”
Watch the second T20l live on Sky Sports Cricket on Saturday (on air 2pm, first ball 2.30pm)