Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav hit centuries to help India take a 1-0 lead in the three-match one-day series against England. Batting first, England had posted a colossal 350 runs thanks to lower-order blitzkriegs and some poor bowling by the Indian bowlers.
Ever since Mahendra Singh Dhoni's sudden decision to step down from the limited-overs captaincy came about, a raging sense of expectation has been centered on Dhoni the batsman and Kohli the leader. In what was going to be the
England top-order provide a steady start
But all that happiness of winning the toss stopped for a while, as English openers Jason Roy and Alex Hales broke free very early. Umesh Yadav and Hardik Pandya opened the bowling with two slips each but reduced to one slip soon as Jason Roy hit two boundaries through extra cover.
But, Jasprit Bumrah, known for his Yorker-bowling abilities, displayed his fielding brilliance to dismiss English opener Alex Hales with an accurate throw from about 70 odd meters. Funnily, Hales was at the non-striker's end and could have easily raced back for two, but watching the ball for a long time cost him his wicket when England’s scorecard read 39.
Hales’ dismissal couldn’t deter a determined Roy as he kept hitting boundaries to all corners of the field. Along with Joe Root, Roy added 69 runs for the second wicket before Dhoni whipped off the bails to send him back to the hut.
Middle-order blitzkriegs help England post 350
England skipper Eoin Morgan, who has just two half-centuries in his last 28 innings, appeared leaden-footed. After taking
Once the foundation for a big total was laid, both Root and Jos Buttler tried to shift gears in England’s
Meanwhile, Root carried on his fine form from Tests and scored 78 runs before perishing to Jasprit Bumrah. India appeared to have found a way back when both the batsmen fell in quick succession.
But, after that, it was mainly some poor death bowling performance that created problems for India. Bumrah seemed completely wayward in the death overs as he bowled as many as three waist-high no-balls. Even Ashwin couldn't stop a rampant Ben Stokes, as he kept hitting a flurry of boundaries. Eventually, Stokes' belligerent innings helped England post 350 in 50overs.
India top-order fizzle in the chase
Chasing a humongous total of 351 runs in 50 overs, India lost the plot by losing the openers early in the innings. Shikhar Dhawan continued his bad patch and while trying to guide the ball straight to the third man, he was caught by Moeen Ali for 1.
KL Rahul, who made a comeback to the one-day team after missing the New Zealand series due to injury concerns, also failed to get going in front of an attacking English pace battery. The Karnataka lad managed to score only eight runs before being the second victim of David Willey. The wicket seemed like a belter during the England’s innings, but India's chase was suddenly paralyzed after losing the openers.
The crowd cheered for Yuvraj with their lungs out and Yuvraj also did not disappoint them by hitting David Willey for a six over mid-wicket. A couple of boundaries followed in the next two overs as Yuvi tried to resurrect the innings, with Virat Kohli for the company.
But just when Yuvraj seemed settled, pacer Ben Stokes extracted a faint edge from the southpaw. Yuvraj’s promising start was nipped in the bud as he could score only 15 runs from 12 balls.
Things spiraled further when MS Dhoni (6) attempted a pull even though he was in no position to play that. The ball went up in the air and David Willey, standing at mid-on pouched that successfully. Dhoni’s dismissal left India tottering at 4 for 63 and seemingly headed for a defeat to the Englishmen.
Kohli to the rescue again
Local boy Kedar Jadhav had the onus on his shoulder to see off a run-chase with the chase-master and he couldn’t ask for a better start to his innings. After all the manic batting display by the top of the order batsmen, Jadhav displayed composure but at the same time, attacked the English bowlers.
Meanwhile, Kohli continued his usual magnificent form to bring a 44-ball fifty to hold India’s winning chances. England turned to Joe Root to give a crucial breakthrough, but all went in vain as the duo took him to cleaners.
Kedar Jadhav brought up his half-century off 29 balls, and his play against the spin of Adil Rashid was particularly brilliant. Kohli, for a while, was happy to play second fiddle to his junior mate. The boundaries were coming along every over at that moment as India seemed to hold the upper edge.
Kohli brought up yet another century in a run-chase by hitting Chris Woakes over long-on. With that, Kohli equaled the record of Sachin Tendulkar for most hundreds in a chase by scoring his 17th century.
Kohli continued his scoring at the same rate even after completing the century. Jadhav also wasn’t too far ahead as he completed his second international century. He completed his century from just 65 balls, much to the delight of the local fans. It was the second fastest century by an Indian batsman in ODI format.
But Ben Stokes provide the big breakthrough by accounting for the Indian skipper. When the scorecard read 263/5, Virat tried to slice the slower ball through the extra cover region, but Willey, standing at mid-on took the catch to silence the spectators.
India still needed 88 runs to take the series
Ravindra Jadeja and Hardik Pandya were handed the job of seeing India through although they had the cushion of a low required rate thanks to Kohli and Jadhav. While Jadeja departed to a rash shot, Pandya stayed back and took India to a win with Ashwin for
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