Kohli's decision to bowl was vindicated by young Kuldeep, who broke the backbone of the England batting with his career-best figures and a maiden five-wicket haul.
This was after a solid start provided by in-form openers Jos Buttler (69 off 45 balls) and Jason Roy (30 off 20 balls), who added 50 in the first five overs of Powerplay.
However from a relatively comfortable 95 for 1 in the 12th over, Kuldeep removed rival skipper Eoin Morgan (7), Jonny Bairstow (0) and Joe Root (0) in the 14th over, which prevented England from posting a competitive total on a placid track.
Root and Bairstow haven't seen much of Kuldeep as he was not a part of the last Test series against England in India and these two batsmen don't play IPL. It was evident as they didn't have a clue as to which way the ball would turn. He bowled 14 dot balls.
England put the message across after David Willey removed Shikhar Dhawan for 7. Eventually KL Rahul started his innings in the form that he was in since the 11th edition of the IPL and has been in that beast mode ever since.
Rahul, who smashed his second T20 International hundred en route his 54-ball-101 as India comfortably chased the target in 18.2 overs. He added 123 runs for the second wicket with Rohit Sharma (32 off 30 balls), who played the role of second fiddle to perfection.
Rahul's innings had 10 fours and as many as five sixes and Manish Pandey's injury proved to be a blessing in disguise as the talented Karnataka opener got a chance at No 3 with skipper Virat Kohli pushing himself down the order. The two swashbucklers wrapped up matters to win the 1st T20I of the three-match series by 8 wickets, taking a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.