Southampton: Hardik Pandya blasted his maiden Twenty20 international half-century and took four wickets as India beat England by 50 runs in Southampton on Thursday.
In the opening game of the three-match series, Pandya powered to his 50 off 30 balls as India scored 198-8.
The 28-year-old hit six fours and one towering six, off Matt Parkinson, before being dismissed for 51.
Pandya’s fireworks came after Suryakumar Yadav (39) and Deepak Hooda (33) had set the tone with some flamboyant shots.
Pandya tormented England with the ball as well, taking 4-33 from his four overs as the hosts could only manage 148 in their limp run-chase.
India captain Rohit Sharma, back in the side after recovering from Covid-19, was rewarded for his decision to bat first as the tourists gained a small measure of revenge for their stunning Test loss to England earlier this week.
England had routed India by seven wickets in the fifth Test as Ben Stokes’ side authored the highest Test run chase in their history.
That victory was England’s fourth in a row under Stokes and new red-ball coach Brendon McCullum, with their astonishingly successful start inspired by a daring committment to aggressive strokeplay.
With the Test team on a well-earned break, Jos Buttler took charge of England for the first time since replacing Eoin Morgan as the country’s limited overs skipper.
Insisting England would be “really aggressive and not afraid of failure”, Buttler is following the template laid out by Stokes and McCullum as he prepares for the T20 World Cup in October.
But Buttler perished for a golden duck, just five balls into England’s chase, when he was bowled by Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s inswinger.
Dawid Malan’s 21 from 14 balls featured four boundaries but Pandya bowled him and then dismissed Liam Livingstone to leave England wobbling on 29-3.
India’s swing bowling was too much for England and Jason Roy had made only four from 16 balls when he was removed by Pandya.
Harry Brook (28) and Moeen Alli, 36 from 20 balls, hammered their share of boundaries to briefly give England renewed hope.
India dropped six catches, but Yuzvendra Chahal delivered the knockout blows as the spinner dismissed both batsmen to put his side on the brink of victory.
India’s T20 debutant Arshdeep Singh claimed his maiden international wickets. The 23-year-old pace bowler removed Reece Topley and Parkinson to put the seal on the visitors’ dominant display.
India had seized the initiative from the start, with Rohit making a rapid 24 before Hooda blasted two consecutive sixes off Moeen.
On 33 from 17 balls, Hooda was threatening to put India in complete control, but Chris Jordan’s slower ball dismissed him before he could cause any more damage.
Yadav’s 19-ball onslaught, featuring four boundaries and two sixes, ensured India’s run-rate raced past 10 an over before he fell caught behind off Jordan after a review.
Having finally reached 50 in his 62nd match and 43rd innings, Pandya holed out on the boundary off Topley.