NASSER HUSSAIN: They are different pranks for the Morgan era! England captain Eoin doesn’t want his incredibly strong battle line-up to take a step back against India
- Both teams have very easy to view battle lineups, but there is a difference
- The Indian Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli take their time and take up the pressure
- England’s approach is to view each of the 50 overs as an opportunity to score
Both teams have very good batting lineups to follow, but there is an intriguing difference between them.
While India plays most times to get a par score, England tries to go above measure every time. They see the game so differently.
India, with two of the greatest white ball hitters to ever make it to their top three – Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli – normally try to hit through the first power play. It’s not that they are lanky when it comes to success rates, but they take the time and take the pressure. It’s an old-fashioned cricket of 50 years old from five years ago. It’s almost like they initially play a 30-over game where they want to keep the wickets in hand, followed by a Twenty20 innings.
Both England and India can be seen very well in battle lineups, but there is an intriguing difference
On Friday, they were just two wickets behind when they hit those last 20, and they know they have Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya and Krunal Pandya in their middle rank, which can go ballistic during that period.
One of the reasons they still play like this is that they shouldn’t introduce a batter into their top order just yet, like Ishan Kishan or Suryakumar Yadav. Another reason may be that they know that England misses their death bowlers, Jofra Archer and Chris Woakes.
The problem with setting things up this way for such a big last 10 overs – even though India scored 126 – is that it invariably brings them to a par total.
Rohit Sharma (above) and Virat Kohli take their time and absorb the pressure – old-fashioned
They can braid that way because they know England doesn’t have Jofra Archer (above) and Chris Woakes
That’s what 336 was for six on a small Pune ground with a flat wicket.
England’s approach, on the other hand, is to see each of the allocated 50 overs as an opportunity to score.
I found Eoin Morgan’s interview after the defeat in the first game of the series fascinating. That’s the way we play, he said, after England got lost from 135 without a loss.
It reminded me of when I interviewed him at the Ageas Bowl in 2015, after they were ejected by New Zealand in 45.2 overs. I asked him if he was cross that his team had not hit the overs. His answer was no. He didn’t want his team to be old-fashioned, he didn’t want his side to back down in their approach.
There were new batters in the squad for the second game on Friday and Morgan clearly wanted no doubts about the required method.
I found Eoin Morgan’s interview after the defeat in the first game of the series fascinating
It reminded me of when I interviewed him at the Ageas Bowl in 2015 after being thrown out by New Zealand in 45.2 overs (above)
England can tone it down if need be, as they have shown in winning the World Cup – a tournament that scores much lower than expected.
But Morgan doesn’t want this incredibly strong batting lineup to take a step back.
Yes, there will be a strange anomaly, as we saw recently, but the key for them is to strengthen the mindset for the next generation of players coming through.
This is because one or two established members of the squad may not be there when England defend their world title in 2023.