Umpire C Shamsuddin’s erroneous judgements during the second Twenty20 International at Nagpur may have frustrated the English camp but they would matter little when the first ball is bowled to determine the series winner on Wednesday.
The final T20I became significant when Shamsuddin raised his finger to adjudge Joe Root LBW off Jasprit Bumrah’s first ball of England’s last over. Had Root survived the appeal, he may have sealed the deal as he looked well-settled after scoring 38 from 37 balls.
Though replays revealed an inside-edge before the ball met Root’s legs, England are in no position to shift the entire blame on the local umpire for their loss. Batsmen’s hapless heaves and Bumrah’s excellent variations let visitors score just two runs, and lose another established batsman Jos Buttler in the next five balls.
Chris Jordan’s skilful deceptions and the overall bowling performances have satisfied the English captain, as he revealed in a post-match talk with Sky Sports. It is his batsmen that need to stand up on the wicket that enjoys the reputation of throwing high-scoring encounters on contrary to what Kanpur and Nagpur wickets offered.
Only two batsmen — Eoin Morgan and KL Rahul — crossed the 50-run mark in the two matches.
England have had a rather forgettable tour that has lasted for almost three months. But they have had their moments, especially in the limited-overs formats.
They ended Virat Kohli’s 19-match-long unbeaten streak at home by winning the final of the three-ODIs at Kolkata and started the T20Is with a win.
They have not lost a T20I series in India — the legacy they will be eyeing to protect when the first ball is delivered on Wednesday.