England looked to be on course for 220-230 runs, admitted Virat Kohli in the decisive third T20 against India on Sunday in Bristol. That may have proven to be a stiffer target than the eventual 199 runs that India were put to chase. And that difference cost England the match – believes England skipper Eoin Morgan. He believed that England fell short by 20-30 runs in the third T20 to go on and lose by 5-wickets. He put the blame on the batting collapse in the death overs.
“We were probably 20-30 runs short. 225 or 235 would have been more of a difficult chase (on that ground). India never really got away from us, but we struggled to take wickets (during the chase),” said Morgan. “They kept up with the rate, and then it was a position in the 16th or 17th over they could take the game away from us which is disappointing. (But) Jason (Roy) and Jos (Buttler) were brilliant up front and almost gave us a licence to allow ourselves to think about 220,” he added.
Cruising after the powerplay overs, England lost their way in the middle overs losing four wickets for 46 runs that restricted their momentum and things got worse at the death with another five wickets in the space of 14 balls. Pandya who had gone for 20 runs in the first four balls, came back strongly to concede just 16 runs in the next three overs while picking up four wickets as well.
“Pandya kept it simple (on a tough ground). He hit good lengths and we didn’t hit it. The execution of our shots didn’t really match up. On a good wicket, and a small ground, we should be better than that. India were probably on top of their game today, and we weren’t. We were just short. Those 20 or 30 runs we missed out on in the back-end of our innings cost us,” said the skipper. “This series has been pretty competitive, probably barring the first game, which they (India) dominated. It doesn’t necessarily expose us in one area, but it allows us to grow as a team. I don’t think we have to play a completely perfect game every time. We proved that at Cardiff.”
Morgan said there things to learn from the loss in Bristol and it is something he and the side would look to fix going into the three-match ODI series starting July 12. “I was just chopping and changing trying to find a wicket, trying to be as unpredictable as we could but it didn’t work. India stuck to banging in a hard length until they went to yorkers towards the end. That’s what we tried to replicate, because on this ground, taking wickets is a priority,” he said. “But I am pretty confident, going forward, we won’t be hung over on this series loss. It doesn’t mean we are going to go and have a divine right to win a game of cricket. We have to remember all the hard work we put in to beat good teams, and India are one of those,” he concluded.