India won by 36 runs
IND 224/2 (20)
ENG 188/8 (20)
India Squad: Virat Kohli (c), Rishabh Pant (wk), Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, Suryakumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Hardik Pandya, Shardul Thakur, Washington Sundar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rahul Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ishan Kishan, Axar Patel, Shikhar Dhawan, Deepak Chahar, Rahul Tewatia, Navdeep Saini, T Natarajan
England Squad: Jos Buttler (wk), Eoin Morgan (c), Jason Roy, Dawid Malan, Jonny Bairstow, Ben Stokes, Sam Curran, Chris Jordan, Jofra Archer, Adil Rashid, Mark Wood, Tom Curran, Moeen Ali, Sam Billings, Reece Topley, Liam Livingstone
Having opened with Rohit Sharma in the fifth T20I against England and added a 94-run stand that laid the platform for India's series victory, Virat Kohli said he would definitely like to partner with his deputy at the top going forward.
Kohli's decision to move up the order was taken so than extra bowler could fit in. T Natarajan came into the eleven for the deciding T20I - which meant that KL Rahul had to make way. The move paid rich dividends as India posted a sizeable total of 224, with Kohli taking his usual wait-and-then-attack approach while the other batsmen were liberal with their strokeplay.
Kohli scored 22 off 20 in the partnership with Rohit and then added 49 with Suryakumar Yadav, who came in at number three and struck a quick-fire 32 off 17 to ensure that India made good progress in the middle part of their innings. Kohli, who had scored 39 off 29 when Suryakumar was dismissed in the 14th over, raced to 80* off 52 in an 81-run association with Hardik Pandya.
Having tried three different opening combinations before this game, Kohli's promotion to the top, Suryakumar providing the firepower at three, and the likes of Hardik, Shreyas Iyer and Rishabh Pant in the middle order, have given India a viable recourse for setting good totals in the 20-over format, which they found challenging earlier in the series.
The dew factor will make batting easier as the game progresses, which will again bring the toss into play despite the Indian bowlers going against the trend to script a series-levelling win in the last game. It will be pretty warm out there with a high of 33 degree Celsius. Hopefully, the game goes 'soft' on the umpires who have been in the firing line quite often.
The newcomers have spearheaded the comebacks for India in the series - Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav proving why they stand pedestalled quite high among a plethora of Indian batting riches, several of whom are part of the current squad. But despite Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and Shreyas Iyer being amongst the runs in the middle order, and the likes of Hardik Pandya and Sundar adding further depth to the batting, India have had to dig deep into their batting, which has to do with what has happened at the top. Contributions from Rahul and Rohit Sharma will go a long way in helping India assert authority, which they haven't done as often as they would have liked. Pandya's bowling has served India well in this series while Bhuvneshwar has also be on the mark. Meanwhile, Shardul Thakur's tendency to leak runs despite picking up wickets, and the dew factor affecting the spinners, will be on India's mind when they take the field on Saturday.
England, for all their dominance, have some concerns as well - and in a World Cup year, it will come as a worry for a side that looked settled till now. Jos Buttler and Jason Roy, unlike the Indian openers, have been scoring well while Morgan will also be pleased with the way Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow handled the spin match-ups in the fourth game. But the lack of runs from Dawid Malan and the skipper himself - although not a big worry at the moment - will keep the think-tank jittery if it continues. As far as bowling is concerned, Mark Wood and Jofra Archer have been England's primary weapons, with their pace unsettling the Indian batsmen. But Chris Jordan has blown hot and cold, Sam Curran has got limited opportunities with the ball, and Moeen Ali none, published by - The Beyond News (Sport)