India v England: third T20 international – live! | Sport

Afternoon everyone and welcome to the third T20. This series is going so fast, it could almost be a Test match. It’s been a tale of two ...

Afternoon everyone and welcome to the third T20. This series is going so fast, it could almost be a Test match.

It’s been a tale of two chases. First England destroyed India with 27 balls to spare. Then India destroyed them right back, with half as many balls to spare (13), but twice as many points for style as Ishan Kishan dazzled on debut and Virat Kohli found his mojo. So the teams stand at 1-1, just as they did after the second Test. Which means that England have to win today – not mathematically, but psychologically.

If they lose, it will feel as if they’re on the slide again, history instantly repeating itself, and on the same stage at the brand-new Ahmedabad amphitheatre. The long walk up to the dressing room will be nothing to the mountain they’ll have to climb, needing to win both the last two games in the form of cricket that comes closest to being 50-50.

If anything, the scales are tipping towards India, because they’re at home, and fresh from a win, and Rohit Sharma is due back from his breather, and the pitch is expected to turn as the action moves along to the red part of the square. That said, there won’t be a crowd in (get well soon, Gujarat), and the last time Kohli played behind closed doors he seemed more rattled than most by the sound of silence.

It could be a vital toss. Eoin Morgan, the ace of chase, is steeling himself to set a target for once. “In the next game,” he said on Sunday, “because we are playing on red soil and not the black soil, there’s a chance it might take more spin, which probably lends itself to batting first as the wicket might get worse.” A chance it might! For an Irishman, he’s very good at British understatement.

Play starts at 1.30pm GMT. I’ll be back soon after 1 with the toss and the teams. In the meantime, here’s a good read from this morning’s edition of our weekly newsletter, The Spin: Tanya Aldred on the sound of the crowd.

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Newsrust - US Top News: India v England: third T20 international – live! | Sport
India v England: third T20 international – live! | Sport
Newsrust - US Top News
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