England hopeful happy memories can inspire Twenty20 victory over India
Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium - where England famously levelled the Test series last month - will host the second and final T20 match
Friday 21 December 2012
England will tomorrow conclude their tour of India, and 2012 schedule, with a return to the scene of one of their most treasured triumphs.
The second and final Twenty20 International, following last night's five-wicket defeat in Pune, will take place at Mumbai's Wankhede Stadium - where England famously levelled the Test series last month on their way to an historic 2-1 victory.
When the Twenty20 specialists run out there for the last stop of the two-month tour, however, there will be just one survivor from the team which beat India by 10 wickets in the second Test.
A clutch of Test regulars were rested for these Twenty20s; then captain Stuart Broad also had to go home early because of injury - and after Jonny Bairstow flew to England ahead of schedule today for family reasons, all-rounder Samit Patel is the last man standing.
Of the Test squad, only Tim Bresnan also remains but he was not part of a two-man pace attack in Mumbai.
A significant first-choice contingent from England's failed defence of their ICC World Twenty20 squad is absent.
But opener Alex Hales was involved in that Sri Lanka campaign, and was back to form here yesterday with a 26-ball half-century at the top of the order in Pune.
England's joint record-holder for their highest Twenty20 score - he and Luke Wright have both made 99 in the past year - could not press on to anything quite so substantial at the Subrata Roy Sahara Stadium.
Eoin Morgan's team then fell short on a good batting surface, and India coasted to victory.
"Obviously it was disappointing not to get off to a winning start," said Hales.
"But there were a lot of positives to take from the game, and I think we're going to bounce back well tomorrow."
He cited the performances of Jos Buttler - with a career-best 33 not out - and then skiddy fast bowler Stuart Meaker on debut as reasons to believe England can still level this short series.
"We got off to a good start, and Jos came in at the end and showed what he can do and how destructive he can be towards the end of the innings.
"I thought Stuart bowled excellently on his debut as well."
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