Another chase. Another collapse. Another win.
The success formulae of team India has followed a similar script in recent times and when they locked horns against a determined English side in Pune for the first of three One Day Internationals, it was Virat Kohli again who had to take the reins into his own hands. However, instead of Mahendra Singh Dhoni, it was the inexperienced aggressor, Kedar Jadhav who justified his selection. With a hundred that stole the thunder from his skipper, Jadhav put his first giant stride forward in international cricket.
Sportwalk takes you through all the details of the match that saw India successfully chasing a total of over 350 for the third time in One Day Internationals, making them the only team to achieve this remarkable feat.
Steady Start for England
The duo of Hales and Roy started like they always do — mixing aggression and caution in equal measure as India’s new ball bowlers failed to capitalize on the dampness that the pitch seemed to offer in the initial overs. After Hales was run out by an unbelievable throw from the deep by Jasprit Bumrah, it was Joe Root who steadied the ship as his partner continued to blast from the other end. His departure in the 19th over brought skipper Eoin Morgan to the crease who looked good while he lasted.
Jadeja Pulling the Brakes
Having scored 150 in the first 25 overs, the Indian bowlers led by Ravindra Jadeja pulled the brakes on the scoring rate as England could only score a 100 runs in their next 108 balls. Some tight pulling coupled with good agility in the field kept the run rate down as England lost Root, Morgan and Buttler. Each of them perished, trying to up the ante.
Bumrah Taken to the Cleaners
Ever since India gained the services of Bumrah, the death over specialist, bowling at the death had become one less thing to worry about for the team think-tank. But even specialists have bad days the office, and much to the dismay of Kohli, his best death bowler was taken to the cleaners by Stokes and Moeen Ali. England ended up with a mammoth score of 350 in their quota of 50 overs as they scored their last hundred runs in just 42 balls.
A Troublesome Start
Chasing a target of 351, India had the worst possible starts as the openers, Dhawan and Rahul could only fair for 1 and 8 respectively as the onus fell upon Virat Kohli and a promoted MS Dhoni to guide the team home. It was young David Willey who exploited the early swing on offer to account for the two Indian openers. Kohli and Yuvraj looked set to pull the team out of trouble before the latter nicked a ball down leg. It brought Dhoni to the crease who was expected to see it through with the new skipper, but he too perished trying to play it over the top.
Jadhav and Kohli Anchor the Ship
After Dhoni was dismissed in the 13th over and the scoreboard read a paltry 63 for the loss of four, Kedar Jadhav arrived to bat alongside Kohli. With an aggressive intent right from the beginning, the former scored at a brisk rate. Kohli was cautious but scored freely from the other end, as he watched Jadhav taking the opposition by storm. What once looked like an impossible task was made to look easy as both completed their hundreds. It was Virat Kohli’s 27th and Jadhav’s first hundred in One Day Internationals.
Hiccup before the Finish
After Kohli was dismissed in the 36th over and Jadhav followed suit couple of overs later, it was left to Hardik Pandya and Jadeja to finish the job. There was a slight hiccup in the process as they lost Jadeja, and Pandya had his nervous moments on the field. They managed to cross the line, however, with 11 balls to spare after Pandya sent the ball sailing into the stands.
England: 350/7 (50 ovs)
Root: 78 (95), Roy: 73 (61)
Pandya: 2/46 (9)
India: 356/7 (48.1 ovs)
Kohli: 122 (105), Jadhav: 120 (76)
Ball: 3/67 (10)