Kuldeep trouble – Morgan acknowledges Yadav put England in a spin
Hosts lost three wickets in one over as slow left-armer bowled India to victory in Manchester
Eoin Morgan had to acknowledge a case of ‘the same but different’ after England again fell short against spin in their eight-wicket Vitality IT20 defeat to India.
There was a reminder of previous failings, from just last year, as left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep Yadav took five for 24 and the hosts lost three wickets in one over to falter from 95 for one to 159 for eight in the series opener.
India number three KL Rahul (101 not out) then helped the tourists breeze past an under-par target after only the in-form Jos Buttler (69) had made a substantial contribution with the bat for England.
Morgan did not instantly equate England’s troubles at Old Trafford with those they encountered in their last match against India in Bangalore, where leg-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal took six wickets and they lost eight for eight runs.
Once that debacle was cited, however, he agreed evident similarities – albeit this time, he inisists Kuldeep deserves particular credit for having Yorkshireman Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow both stumped for golden ducks.
“Yes, I suppose that is fair,” said the Irishman.
“We weren’t good enough in Bangalore. It was a bit of a different game (there) – we probably left too many to get off him towards the end.
“It was different today. He took three wickets in four balls, and deceived us.
“It wasn’t a case of us chipping it up in the air. He completely deceived us, and I thought he bowled well.
“We know we can (do better) … so we need to.”
The upshot was that England were well short of a defendable total on a very good pitch.
“We didn’t (get enough runs). We were probably about 30 or 40 short.
“Kuldeep bowled well … between now and the next game, we need to assess our plans, make sure they’re the right ones, and stick with them.”
Root and Bairstow were both undone immediately by the variation turning away from them.
“The more time you spend at the crease, the better you see the ball,” added Morgan.
“You go from sitting in the dugout to match pace, when a guy is three overs into his spell, it is going to be different.
“That’s the hardest part about batting – starting – (so) ‘face more deliveries off him’.”
India’s other potent weapon was a vociferous majority support in Manchester – a factor Morgan anticipates will extend elsewhere through their tour.
“Yes, we’ve been saying that in the lead-in.
“We talked about every game in this series potentially feeling like an away game.
“That’s the reality of things, and we have to be accepting of that, and get on with things.”
England must also somehow try to prepare better – an awkward task, with no net bowlers able to imitate Kuldeep’s skills.
“It’s like any challenge – if you’re facing a guy who bowls 95mph it’s very difficult to replicate,” said Morgan.
“If you’re facing a guy who turns it both ways, and disguises it well, it’s very difficult to replicate – because there is nobody else who bowls like that.
“So your preparation is a clear mind, you have a pretty clear plan, and you stick to it.”
Kuldeep, meanwhile, was able to reflect on his maiden five-wicket haul at this level – including Root and Bairstow both first ball.
“Obviously they are quality batsmen, and it’s a good feeling when you take two wickets on the trot,” he said.
“It was amazing…brilliant I guess. Three wickets in the over really changed the momentum.”