An emphatic win in the opening game of the T20 International series against England has set the tone for the rest of India’s long-awaited tour as the visitors would look to ensure that the spin-wary hosts remain on the back-foot when the two sides clash in the second T20I at Sophia Gardens in Cardiff on Friday. India’s star spinner Kuldeep Yadav recorded his best figures as he took five wickets giving away just 24 runs, while KL Rahul scored an unbeaten second T20I century as the Men in Blue produced a fine all-round display to stun Eoin Morgan’s men by eight wickets in Manchester for an early lead on this tour. Another win would seal the three-match series for Virat Kohli and his team. In fact, India stand on the cusp of a sixth successive T20I series win – a run stretching back to their 2-1 win over New Zealand at home in November 2017. In all, they have been unbeaten in bilateral T20I series since September last year. (Live Scorecard: India vs England)
2nd T20I, Sophia Gardens, Cardiff, Jul 06, 2018
Match yet to begin
Live Updates Between India vs England 2nd T20, straight from Cardiff
20:15 IST: The men blue have left their hotel and are in the team bus heading to the stadium.
It’s time for the 2nd T20I against England at Cardiff.#ENGvIND pic.twitter.com/ZJcNkYLfqq
— BCCI (@BCCI) July 6, 2018
20:05 IST: Look who is back in the England team!
Ben Stokes will be at Sophia Gardens for our second Vitality IT20 against India following his appearance for @DurhamCricket in the @VitalityBlast.
He is expected to be available for selection for our final IT20 on Sunday. #ENGvIND pic.twitter.com/85WZeK6uc9
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 6, 2018
20:01 IST: Here’s a look at the training session that team India earlier had ahead of the second encounter.
The boys look all geared up for the 2nd T20I against England.
Will they go up 2-0 today in the three-match T20I series?#ENGvIND pic.twitter.com/I2VwhOWCK6
— BCCI (@BCCI) July 6, 2018
20:00 IST: Hello and welcome to the live updates of the second T20I match between India and England.
In terms of ICC rankings, a 2-0 series lead will allow India to close the gap with second-placed Australia, while a 3-0 whitewash will help them leapfrog to second behind top-ranked Pakistan. Australia will have to win both their next two games in the ongoing tri-series in Zimbabwe to stay above India. A loss on Friday will see England drop down to rank seven below New Zealand, South Africa and West Indies, respectively. It will be a surprising downturn for the high-flying English team, one of the better in limited-overs’ cricket at the moment. It is a stark reminder of their poor winning ratio nevertheless, having won only 5 out of their last 10 T20 internationals. The big question facing England is how to contend with the unorthodox wrist spin of Kuldeep Yadav. In the aftermath of their loss on Tuesday, both skipper Eoin Morgan and ace batsman Jos Buttler have urged their teammates to show more patience at the crease and watch the ball carefully.
But with such a short turnaround in the fixtures’ list, it is easier said than done. The English camp will deploy the services of spin-bowling machine ‘Merlyn’ at Cardiff. A scarcity of unorthodox wrist spinners to practice against is one of the key reasons for this move, as the spin-bowling machine is capable of replicating every style of delivery. An English team last used it ahead of the 2005 Ashes, when they were practicing to contend with Shane Warne. A key reason underlined by Morgan after the first defeat was that the middle-order batsmen, Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root, who both got stumped off successive googlies, needed more time to settle in. Despite the loss, one of the key strengths for England is their top-order’s ability to handle pace and they would like another fast start at Cardiff. It is perhaps the only real concern for India emanating from that first game as the enforced new-ball pairing of Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Umesh Yadav was proven ineffective at Old Trafford.