India fought back from a tense situation at Nagpur to square the series, and set up the decider at Bangalore on Wednesday. Of course, the hosts got great help from umpire Chettithody Shamshuddin, who gave a horrendous decision to Joe Root in the final over to swing the match India's way. After that Jasprit Bumrah held his nerve to see India through. The resultant loss has led England to write to the ICC over the poor standard of umpiring. Remember in the same game, Indian captain Virat Kohli was plumb lbw, yet was given not out. Undoubtedly, the visitors would be seething with anger as they head into the decider at Bangalore.
While Kohli will be pleased to maintain his unbeaten run, there are certainly issues that he and the team think-tank need to sort out. For two games running, the England bowlers have kept India to below par scores. The likes of Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni, Suresh Raina and skipper Kohli himself will have to lift their game in Wednesday's match. Yuvraj particularly struggled against the off spin of Moeen Ali. Further, the likes of Chris Jordan, Ben Stokes and Tymal Mills all kept the Indians under pressure with their tight bowling. The performance of Lokesh Rahul will encourage the hosts though. Even as the others struggled, he was at his fluent best at Nagpur.
India would be pleased with their bowling effort though. Bumrah was absolutely brilliant under pressure in a crunch situation, even as he lacks too much international exposure. Ashish Nehra went for a few in his last over, but otherwise was top notch. Amit Mishra kept things tight even as he wasn't among the wickets. It would be interesting to see whether they give a chance to Bhuvneshwar Kumar. As for England, they would have felt hard done by at Nagpur. But, their batting effort could have been better. They would do well to leave the past behind and concentrate on the future.
--By A Cricket Analyst