Down 2-1, Team India made a remarkable comeback in the T20I series against England as the hosts registered a thrilling eight-run win in the fourth T20I on Thursday. And with the series level 2-2, the hosts will look to hit top gear when they take the field in the decider on Saturday. Suryakumar Yadav, who was brought back into the playing XI after being dropped in the third T20I, played a match-winning knock to plot India's comeback before Hardik Pandya, Rahul Chahar and Shardul Thakur decimated the English batsmen.
But England skipper Eoin Morgan welcomed the loss against India and termed the fourth T20I as an ideal match for preparation for the upcoming T20 World Cup. "We really want to play in must-win games like this. They're the closest thing that we get to playing in a World Cup or a Champions Trophy and against a fantastic side like India, it should bode to be a great game," Morgan told the host broadcaster after the match.
The issue of 'soft signal' came under the scanner during the fourth T20I between India and England. During hosts' innings, two umpiring calls were debatable and it could have gone either way. First, Suryakumar was sent back to the pavilion by Sam Curran. The right-handed batsman tried to play a ramp shot but Dawid Malan ended up taking the catch. Replays indicated that the ball might have hit the ground when Malan was taking the catch, however, as the soft signal was out, the third umpire stayed with the on-field call citing "lack of conclusive evidence". Later in the match, all-rounder Washington Sundar was caught at the boundary by Adil Rashid and it seemed that the England spinner might have touched the rope while taking the catch but the on-field call stayed.
India skipper Virat Kohli said he fails to understand why the on-field umpire has to give a soft signal as "out" when the player is himself unsure regarding whether he has taken a catch or not. He went on to demand an "I don't know" call for the umpires as the debate on soft signal erupted during the fourth T20I. "I don't know why there can't an "I don't know" call for the umpires. You want these things ironed out to keep the game linear. But we want clarity on the field," Kohli told host broadcaster Star Sports at the post-match presentation.
However leaving all this aside, it was a thrilling comeback by Team India in the game and in the series too. The hosts have already played a must-win game (fourth T20I) and with the home side high on confidence, Kohli and boys are expected to take the fifth game by storm. The Men in Blue have also negated the toss factor and with deeper options available in the batting line-up, it wouldn't be a surprise if Kohli wins toss and opts to bat on Saturday.
Moreover, a victory would ensure that Team India carries on the winning momentum to the three-match ODI series which gets underway from Tuesday. The only thing which bothers Team India is KL Rahul's form at the top of the order. The right-handed batsman has scored just 18 runs in the series and though he did get a start on Thursday, it was rather sluggish innings by the opener.
India's T20I squad: Virat Kohli (captain), Rohit Sharma (vc), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Shreyas Iyer, Suryakumar Yadav, Hardik Pandya, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Yuzvendra Chahal, Rahul Chahar, Axar Patel, Washington Sundar, Rahul Tewatia, T Natarajan, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Navdeep Saini, Shardul Thakur. England's T20I squad: Eoin Morgan, Liam Livingstone, Dawid Malan, Jason Roy, Moeen Ali, Sam Curran, Tom Curran, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Jofra Archer, Chris Jordon, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Reece Topley.