It’s all about execution. It is. The answer is on a postcard – Jos Buttler after humiliation in CWC23

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Even with their opponents so out of form, India finished up short of the total they would have liked, with only Bumrah—run out for 16 on the final ball of the innings—joining Rohit, Surayakumar, and Rahul in double figures but India easily won by 100 runs with 15.1 overs remaining.

England had won the toss and decided to bowl first. England got off to a strong start, holding their opponents to 35 for 2 on the first power play.

Willey started the match with a maiden in the first over, but Rohit Sharma’s two sixes over midwicket and down the ground in his second over saw Willey go for 18, putting pressure on England’s bowlers early on. 

But Woakes returned after being dropped for England’s loss to South Africa in the previous game, managed to nip back and beat Shubman Gill’s drive, clattering into the middle and off stumps, with just two wickets from his side’s sole victory of the campaign against Bangladesh going into this game. 

This got Kohli to the crease, but Stokes easily took his misplaced drive at Willey at mid-off, leaving India stunned at 27 for 2 in the seventh over.

Bowling his sixth over in a row, Woakes struck again when he had Shreyas Iyer simply taken by Wood at mid-on, making it 40 for 3. 

England believed they were 51 for 4 until Rohit reversed his lbw dismissal from Wood after ball tracking indicated it was missing leg stump. His subsequent four through deep backward point was greeted with a resounding roar from the home crowd.

It turned out to be a key performance for India as Rohit reached his fifty by smearing Wood just wide of mid-on and running two. He then lifted the next ball smoothly beyond deep backward square leg for six. Finally, dancing down the pitch to Moeen Ali, Rohit lofted him over mid-off for four.

However, Willey came back to attack and soon afterward, Rahul advanced and hit the ball to Bairstow at mid-on, ending a 91-run partnership for the fourth wicket. 

After becoming overly excited, Rohit picked up Rashid’s googly and holed out to deep midwicket, where Liam Livingstone came running in from the edge of the boundary to take a powerful sliding catch, forcing his knee into the ground and leaving a massive divot.

With Suryakumar Yadav attempting to reverse-sweep Moeen in the 40th over, England gave up their first extras as the ball dribbled away for four byes, eluding both Buttler and the bat. Ravindra Jadeja was quick to review his lbw dismissal to Rashid in the next over. 

However, the umpire’s call was upheld, as ball-tracking revealed the ball had clipped the top of the leg stump, giving England the advantage in the match.

Surayakumar thereafter had responsibility for sustaining India’s innings. He reached 48 and, with a brilliant flick for six over fine leg off Wood, helped his team cross the 200 mark. 

Just after Bumrah had hit Wood over the on side for four, Moeen put him out at long-off but Surayakumar had already picked out Woakes at deep point to give Willey his third wicket and fall one run short of a half-century.

Even with their opponents so out of form, India finished up short of the total they would have liked, with only Bumrah—run out for 16 on the final ball of the innings—joining Rohit, Surayakumar, and Rahul in double figures.

Through the latter half of the first power play, Bumrah and Mohammad Shami were superb. The former’s maiden in the seventh over, Shami promptly followed it up with a wicket maiden, edging Ben Stokes with two superb deliveries that defied clumsy attempts at defense before luring the batsman to attack a fuller ball that splattered the stumps.

On 13, Jonny Bairstow survived when Kohli failed to grip a challenging chance at slip. However, Shami continued where he had left off in the previous over, taking two wickets in as many deliveries when Bairstow dragged one on that dipped in from the right length just outside off stump.

England’s underdog captain, Jos Buttler, needed to step up because he had only scored 95 runs in his first five games, including a highest score of 43 in the first game against New Zealand. 

With a delivery that turned fiercely from outside off and slammed into the top of middle and off, Kuldeep Yadav, however, assured that Buttler’s poor run would continue. This sent Buttler on his way for just 10, leaving England reeling at 52 for 5.

In the 24th over, Shami made a comeback and removed Moeen Ali with a first ball blow, enticing the drive and getting an edge that went through to KL Rahul behind the stumps. 

India needed just one wicket to take after Shami bowled Adil Rashid through the gate, and Bumrah obliged with a sensational Yorker that smashed the base of Mark Wood’s middle stump.

Rohit Sharma:

“I think this was a game where we showed a lot of character. All the experienced players stood up at the right time and won us the game. Looking at how the tournament has gone for us, batting second in the first five games and then we had to bat first here, we were challenged. We knew the pitch had something in it and we had the experience in our bowling, so we wanted to get to a decent total. We were not great with the bat, losing three wickets in the first power play isn’t the ideal situation. You have to then create a long partnership, which we did. But then we just lost wickets, including mine. Looking at the overall picture, I thought we were 30 runs short. [On India’s bowling] You don’t see that every day when you are defending such a total. Our seamers exploited the conditions very well; there was swing and lateral movement available. [Does India have all the variety in their attack?] I think so; we have got a good balance there. A couple of good spinners and seamers bring in their experience. When you have a bowling line-up like that, the batters must give them something to work with, and show their magic.”

Jos Buttler:

“Very disappointed. At the halfway stage, chasing 230, we would have fancied ourselves. Same old story. Very disappointed. I wasn’t sure about the dew, the gut failed and said we should chase. [Did it make sense to absorb pressure after early wickets?] I think whichever way you want to go, you have to be committed. It’s all about execution. It is. The answer is on a postcard, I think. It was a great start in the power play by the bowlers, the guys found some movement. The ground fielding was good. But the way we batted, we didn’t back that up. [On Champions Trophy qualification] Yeah, we are aware of that and there’s still a lot to play for.”

Rohit Sharma is the Player of the Match for his 87:

“After the first 10 overs, it was important to stitch a partnership. You have to play the situation as well and not just play your shots. If you have that experience, you should use it. But I still thought we were 20-30 runs short. The new ball was a bit challenging and as the game went on, the ball got softer and it was not easy to rotate strike.”