MCA XI v England XI, World T20 warm-up, Mumbai March 14, 2016

Jordan's yorkers too good for his team-mates


England XI 177 for 8 (Root 48, Willey 3-35, Rashid 2-33) beat MCA XI 163 for 6 (Bista 51, Vince 45) by 14 runs

Joe Root hits down the ground during his 48 © Getty Images

The venerable Cricket Club of India has its very own "Men's Siesta Room", situated on the second floor of the Brabourne Stadium pavilion, and available from the hours of 12pm to 6pm to those members who could do with a lie-down. Like most of the décor in and around the grand old ground, its very existence harks back to an era of pankhawalas and chhota peg, when it was safe to take your eyes off the action and not miss a single beat.

On paper, England's final World T20 warm-up match against a Mumbai Cricket Association XI was the sort of occasion that could have led to standing room only in the Siesta Room. Many's the time that England have simply muddled through the motions in such contests, rotating their squad, settling for time in the middle, and moving onto the main event with minimum fuss.

Times, however, have changed very quickly, and England's final 40 overs of middle practice proved urgent and captivating. In the end, a Mumbai XI reinforced with four donations from the England squad ran their visitors close before succumbing to a 14-run defeat, the contest effectively sealed by a brace of yorkers from Chris Jordan to bowl two of England's floor-crossers, James Vince and Jos Buttler in consecutive overs.

Up until that point, England had been somewhat up against it. Jay Bista, a talented 20-year-old local boy who last week struck his maiden first-class hundred, launched Mumbai's pursuit of 178 with a 37-ball 51, before Vince, with a measured 45 from 38, and Buttler, with a typically aggressive 25 from 16, manoeuvred their adopted team close with a 47-run stand in five overs.

England did not help their cause with their fielding - both men were badly dropped in the deep by Liam Plunkett and Ben Stokes respectively - but England dredged the necessary composure to close out the contest, Jordan serving up a diet of yorkers at the death, not least in an exemplary penultimate over that went for just two runs.

"He's been fantastic," said Joe Root, whose 48 from 34 balls was the bedrock of England's efforts with the bat. "He's proven on a few occasions he can perform under real pressure. Now it's about doing it consistently and when it really counts. The best thing is we've got these experiences to call upon when the tournament starts, so fingers crossed we can take that confidence forward."

For all that Eoin Morgan has encouraged his England team to embrace their "naivety" in Indian conditions, there's a subtle difference between the sort of have-a-go fearlessness that he is advocating and willful ignorance of the challenges that lie in store. And with that in mind, England have made as much capital as they could have hoped from their two practice contests.

West Indies on Wednesday will be another challenge entirely. "They are extremely explosive," said Root. "They have firepower in the batting order, and are unpredictable at times, so we have got to have lots of plans in place to counter that".

However, the ongoing success of Adil Rashid as a middle-order handbrake augurs well for England's chances of launching their campaign in style. In transferring both Buttler and Rashid to their opponents, England created a situation in which their two likeliest matchwinners could test themselves against the best that England could offer, and vice versa. It proved to be a qualified success.

After batting first in a pre-arranged situation, Jason Roy and Alex Hales had biffed England along to 69 in the seventh over - neither perhaps hitting top form but nevertheless finding the gaps to rattle the scoreboard along - when Rashid started with the sort of splash that he has become something of a trademark since his stint with Adelaide Strikers in the Big Bash.

He snared both men in the space of his first ten balls - Roy got himself in a tangle on the reverse sweep and chipped to short third man, before Hales was beaten in flight and jabbed a high looping chance back to the bowler. With flight, guile and spin both ways, Rashid conceded just 17 runs in his first three overs before Root, with the impish acceleration for which he is building his own reputation, planted his front foot to slam two sixes in a final over that went for 16.

"Hopefully everyone got lots out of it," said Root. "Personally I know I did, it's always good to face someone like Rash, who's got the ability to spin the ball both ways. There will be times when we have to make sure we can face that in the tournament. He's a very skilful bowler and it's great to get an opportunity to face someone like that in a match situation instead of just in the nets."

David Willey, the fourth of England's exports to the Mumbai team, belatedly reminded the selectors of his merits with an improbable hat-trick as England shipped five wickets in the final 11 balls of their innings. After a first-ball lbw appeal against Roy that might have been tighter in a more competitive game, Willey came in for some tap in the opening three overs of his spell, only to turn his figures upside down with the consecutive scalps of Root, Moeen Ali and Jordan, who launched the final ball of the innings inside out over cover, but picked out Bista, lurking in the deep.

"Out preparation has been very good," said Root. "In all the training sessions, the lads have worked extremely hard, and when it's come to the games, the guys have stepped up and performed under pressure, which is exactly what we need to do."

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. He tweets @miller_cricket

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • S on March 15, 2016, 10:48 GMT

    @BBNN - There are only 8 teams in the IPL. So it's not easy for players to bag a contract in their first domestic season. He will get his chance next year.

  • Indian on March 15, 2016, 10:30 GMT

    @BBNN : I am similarly perplexed as why Jay Bista has not been picked by any IPL franchise , maybe IPL scouting system is not as good and extensive as they claim , it is not only Bista but there are many young Indian players like him who for some reason are unable to get an IPL gig .

  • Dave on March 15, 2016, 8:35 GMT

    After much deliberation I have decided that Jordan can be in the IX, however, only because of injuries to Wood & Finn, he also must not be allowed to bowl until the death, when he suddenly and inexplicably is able to spear in yorker after pinpoint yorker, despite normally having been tonked all over the place before the death.

  • John on March 15, 2016, 8:01 GMT

    I kind of agree that England wasted some opportunities. 1 - Could Ali not even have opened for the Mumbai side? 2 - As already put - could Willey not have batted higher? 3 - I guess it makes no odds as it was so late in the day but could/should Dawson not have come in before Jordan? I also believe Plunkett to be a more useful batsman than Jordan and I'm not sure why Jordan bats so high

    Not sure if this is the last warm up game. I'd like to see them squeeze Dawson into the side but like the Roy/Hales opening partnership it seems that Eng are too set in their ways to go for it. Nice to see Plunkett do well although he'll no doubt be ignored for Willey/Jordan. Morgan seems to be the weak link right now but we have to hope he returns to form in the games that matter

  • Clad on March 15, 2016, 7:40 GMT

    Regarding Willey's batting position I also agree he should be promoted - Farbrace did it with Stokes in Tests and it worked - Bayliss should do it with Willey in white ball. With Ali's extremely poor form with the bat, Willey should take his place at 7 for now - though I seriously would love to see Ali back at his best and hope he fires if he gets called on during this tournament. P2 of 2.

  • Clad on March 15, 2016, 7:39 GMT

    @D.S.A. For once I am going to almost agree with you here! Firstly yes the lack of time with the bat for Willey & Rashid when there was opportunity, was a waste. However, how much control they had over that I don't know as looking at the end of the innings it almost looks like they were deliberately prevented from taking strike when they could have done. And with no offence to the Indians, I don't suppose they were going out of the way to give them time in the middle when they could potentially come up against their national team in a few weeks' time.

    Regarding playing Mumbai and not an international team, I believe the warm up games are scheduled by ICC rather than the ECB, and indeed SA are playing the same Mumbai team today. P1 of 2.

  • binu on March 15, 2016, 5:58 GMT

    Why Jay Bista is not selected for any IPL team? He is good for T20 and handy with his offspin

  • Himanshu on March 15, 2016, 5:09 GMT

    Besides India, a lot of people think Australia are the favorites. I believe it is merely because of their dominance in longer formats. in this tournament though, their bowling looks pretty weak to me. They have some decent pace bowlers, but barring Starc almost all are one dimensional. They just don't have a spinner for a tournament to be played in India! This England side in contrast has pretty good swing bowlers to take advantage of any grass that there could be, they have pretty good death bowlers who bowl yorkers and bouncers at will and two pretty good spinners. So they have a pretty balanced side and are second favorites in my book behind India.

  • Jackie on March 15, 2016, 1:05 GMT

    This new England team is quite watchable unlike the past? Interesting comment from HadesLogic considering that nearly all the "certainties" played last time round!! Rashid is new and so is Roy who is replacing Lumb (who formed a pretty good opening combo with Hales). I think what Hades is missing is that Root was there before but has improved as a t20 player and so has Stokes - who last time punched himself out of the t20 WC by breaking his hand getting a duck in the prior Series v the West Indies. Our team went on to get beaten by Holland. At least that ignominious fate won't await them again.

  • John on March 14, 2016, 19:27 GMT

    I thought England would try to give all the members of the squad a game- I just didn't anticipate it would be the same game! Never mind, since it appears that only a couple of the Mumbai squad were decent players, it's just as well England tested themselves against their own squad members.

    8 of the players are certainties- Roy, Hales, Root, Morgan, Stokes, Buttler, Ali and Rashid. Of the others, Billings and Vince likely won't play. That leaves the remaining 3 spots to be filled from Jordan, Topley, Willey, Plunkett and Dawson. Personally I'd rather have the extra spinner and Dawson's a handy bat, too, but that might be too daring for England. Plunkett, because he was the reserve drafted in, and Dawson will probably miss out.

    It's a useful side and has enough firepower to worry anyone, but equally there's a tendency to collapse, as we saw again in this match. Still, I'm a lot more hopeful than I was before the WC last year.

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