Harbhajan Singh returned from his wilderness in a scintillating fashion as he picked up 4 crucial English wickets to help India demolish the defending champions by 90 runs in an inconsequential group match. Stuart Broad & Co could only manage 80 runs to register their lowest T20 score and was totally at sea against the classy spin bowling from the Indians.
Earlier in the day, Rohit Sharma scored an unbeaten 55 runs from 33 balls to help India register a total of 170 – 4 in the Premadasa Stadium. Since India had already qualified for the next round, the Men in Blue decided to rest Ashwin, Sehwag and Zaheer Khan. The way the English batsmen capitulated against the Indian spin bowling was a real shocker! One shudders to think what will happen to then when they will come down to India for the test series. Everyone knew about their vulnerability against spin bowling but such a meek surrender was never expected.
No amount of explanation can ever explain this shoddy performance but England captain Stuart Broad put up a brave face and said that he was not too concerned about the defeat as they used this match to try their four seam bowlers. He reiterated that the defeat will not change England’s fortunes as they will still play in the Super Eights.
Nobody thought that the 32-year old bowler will come back with such a vengeance. The wily off-spinner was ignored by the selectors for more than a year but he was finally picked for the T20 squad. Skipper Dhoni pressed him into service in the 6th over and he returned the faith with a wicket off the 2nd delivery. The procession started soon and leg spinner Piyush Chawla also claimed a couple of wickets. It was a remarkable achievement for a bowler who has not donned India colors for more than a year. We just hope that he has not peaked too soon as India needs his good form against more formidable opponents in the Super Eight stage.