Chris Jordan’s pitch and Virat Kohli’s hat – an India v England T20 series recap sorta thing

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England just played a handful of T20s in India ahead of the World T20 in India later this year. How did it go? Did anyone learn anything?

The headline stat is that India won 3-2. The standfirst stat is that they managed that while testing out more players than England. The tourists only made one change all series – a precautionary bench-warm for Mark Wood in the second match.

“I would have loved a couple of really low-scoring games,” reflected Eoin Morgan afterwards.

Clearly he’s playing in the wrong era. England sides of years gone by would have guaranteed their captain that.

What Morgan really meant was that he wanted to play on slow, low, turning pitches to get some experience of that ahead of the World T20 later this year. Unfortunately, the pitches used turned out to be so unremarkable that he didn’t at any point feel the need to bowl a second spinner. (It could be a big IPL for Moeen Ali.)

Of the seamers, Jofra Archer was the most consistent and Mark Wood the most eye-catching. Sam Curran did a solid job. Ben Stokes was meh. Tom Curran bowled two overs for 26.

Chris Jordan put in a strong pitch to become the David Willey for this next World Cup by going at over 10 an over. He bowled at the death, but has previously done so an awful lot better.

Batting-wise, Dawid Malan was very Dawid Malan. He was third-highest scorer in the series, but no-one who made more than 50 runs did so at a lower strike-rate.

His best innings was 68 off 46 balls. This sounds useful, except that his strike-rate of 147.83 came in a run-chase after India had scored at 186.67 across their entire innings. (Say what you like, but runs-per-100-balls strike-rates will make a good deal more sense in the Hundred.)

As for India, they went for a 1990s England Test team approach to selection.

Virat Kohli batted at three, then four, then two, and made unbeaten fifties in all three positions.

Suryakumar Yadav made his debut, didn’t bat, got dropped, then came back and made a match-winning fifty up the order.

Ishan Kishan opened, made a match-winning fifty, then dropped to three, made four off nine balls and didn’t play again.

Players came and went and seemingly drew batting positions out of a hat. It was all a bit dizzying and probably of less importance than how all these players go in the IPL over the next month or so.

All in all, some cricket was played, the usefulness of which will be determined through hindsight following the outcome of the World T20.

14 comments

  1. Why don’t you have a King Cricket visual equivalent of the Ridiculous Ashes jingle for “hindsight corner”?

    And why isn’t Ishan Kishan an all-but-forgotten 1980s pop music phenomenon, rather than a 2020s cricket star in the ascendant?

    We come here for answers, KC, but today I find myself leaving this site with yet more questions .

    1. If you remember, we usually just link to Captain Hindsight on YouTube. The hindsight isn’t yet applicable in this instance anyway.

      1. I’m still trying to think of any other cricketers with rhyming names.

        Chris Lew-is.
        Fat Gatt.
        Al Mulall.

      2. The most memorable (for me) is Sarfraz Nawaz, but he was a long time ago.

        Of course, when I say “memorable” I mean nominally memorable, Asif I remembered exactly how Sarfraz bowled (did you see what I did there?):

        https://ianlouisharris.com/1974/09/03/back-when-i-didnt-know-my-asif-from-my-sarfraz-cricket-on-tooting-bec-common-summer-1974/

        More recently, we had this type of conversation about Varun Aaron when he emerged on the scene a few years ago, only to vanish without all that much of a trace.

  2. We’re going to win the first of three inconsequential bilateral one day internationals!

    Shove it up your arse!

    1. Didn’t realise you support India, Sam.

      In other (related) news, when was the last time a pair of brothers (Pandya) played against a pair of brothers (Curran)?

      The topic of brothers against brothers came up in the 1997 Ridiculous Ashes (Waughs v Hollioakes).

      I think I have only witnessed it live myself once (Australia v Zimbabwe in 1999; Waughs v Flowers – with the additional pairing of Whittall cousins and a near miss with Paul Strang playing but Bryan not being selected for the World Cup squad ).

      Anyway, my point is, has it happened (before today) since the Waugh/Flower era?

      1. This discussion was had on the wireless earlier. There was speculation about Hollioakes, McCullums, Husseys, Marshes and Pathans.

      2. We don’t come to you for speculation, Sam, we come to you for cats…I mean facts. You’re not a cat, are you?

        Anyway, Irfan and Yusuf Pathan are half-brothers, which only half-counts. Husseys and Marshes cannot have played against each other and the Hollioake brothers didn’t play together much and for sure didn’t do so after the Waugh/Flower era for the most tragic of reasons.

        Hussey brothers against McCullum brothers looks the most likely but I can find no reference to it.

        Another possibility is the Morkel brothers (Albie & Morne) against the Husseys and/or the McCullums. But again no reference pops up.

        What a rare treat.

      3. Kenya, like Zimbabwe, had quite a few cricketing brothers. Small pool of players and tendency for families to all play the same game, presumably? There were the Suji brothers (2 of them), Tikolo brothers (2 of them) and Obuya brothers (3 of them), all in a sadly short era in which they played relatively few top-level ODIs.

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