Sports

India v England, 3rd T20I: Onus on Indian stars to lead the challenge in title decider

BENGALURU: With Virat Kohli and KL Rahul at the top of the order, followed by Suresh Raina, Yuvraj Singh, Manish Pandey and MS Dhoni, Team India has a formidable batting line-up. Yet the stars looked extremely vulnerable in the T20 series against England as the seasoned campaigners failed to live up to their billing.
Apart from a face-saving 71 from Rahul - who seemed to have regained form in Nagpur after an extended poor run - India's batting chinks lay exposed in the T20 version. Going into the title decider at the M Chinnaswamy stadium on Wednesday, Kohli and his men will have to lift their game by several notches against Eoin Morgan's England to complete a series win across all formats.

To start with, Kohli, who opened with Rahul in the absence of an injured Rohit Sharma, has not been able to provide the start. After a brilliant run in the Test series and ODIs, the captain has managed a below-par 50 runs (29, 21) in his last two T20 innings.

Both Yuvraj Singh and Suresh Raina have also looked out of sorts. Barring his 150 in the second ODI, Yuvraj's form has been indifferent. In the 13 T20s he played from the Australian tour in January 2016, the left-hander has scored only 175 runs. During this span, his highest score was 35 that came against Sri Lanka in Asia Cup match in Dhaka last March. Adding to the hosts' woes was Raina's inability to rise to the occasion. It has not only hampered the middle order but also put further pressure on Manish Pandey and Dhoni.

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