The afternoon to all and welcome to the biggest little rendezvous of the English winter. It’s a mini-final in itself, the decider in a Twenty20 series that seemed beautifully balanced at first and has proven it now by placing 2-2. It’s also the dress rehearsal for what could well be the T20 World Cup final in November – although the holders, West Indies, may have something to say about it, as well as Australia, Pakistan. and the sports gods, who tend to laugh for a long time. range predictions.
India is the host, for the T20 World Cup as well as for today’s game, and the favorites in the opinion of most people, but not that of Virat Kohli. England are the top ranked nation in the world in T20 and, of course, the holder of the 50 Plus World Cup. England, helped by the draw, took the lead twice in this series; India has twice found an equalizer. Today’s ground is where India galloped to its first victory.
England added an extra dimension to their game, going as strong with the ball in the first six overs as they did with the stick. India have the deepest squad, thanks to the IPL millionaires bootcamp, and it was they who held their nerve in the only tight finish so far, though Jofra Archer has been Pretty cool too: after taking four wickets, he left for his first international T20 heats, and made 18 steps out of eight balls.
While Kohli is the biggest star in this firmament, his closest competitors are all on the other side – Archer and Jos Buttler and Eoin Morgan, who has spent more time on the show giving talks than holding a bat (26 balls faced, 32 races completed). Outside of Kohli, India’s brightest performers have been fringe players – Ishan Kishan, Suryakumar Yadav – who still sometimes find themselves left behind to make room for their elders and minors.
It’s the kind of series that no team deserves to lose. But whoever does will be able to console himself with a thought familiar to everyone in the theater: the worse the dress rehearsal, the better the show. The curtain rises at 1:30 p.m. GMT, and I’ll be back just after 1:00 p.m. with the cast list.