Brief Scores: India 317/5 in 50 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 98, KL Rahul 62*, Krunal Pandya 58*; Ben Stokes 3-34) lost to England 251 in 42.1 overs (Jonny Bairstow 94, Jason Roy 46; Prasidh Krishna 4-54, Shardul Thakur 3-37) by 66 runs
England failed to capitalize on a blazing start as they collapsed by 66 runs to concede a lead in the three-match One Day International series against India. Despite cruising at one stage while chasing 318 with the England openers piling on 135 runs, the home team bounced back strongly with Shardul Thakur and debutant Prasidh Krishna sharing seven wickets between them.
Playing at Pune for the first time on this tour, the English team smashed 89 runs in the powerplay overs, with Krishna being sent all over the park. However, crucial wickets combined with some poor batting from the middle order meant that the Men in Blue took a lead in the series.
We look at the major talking points from the first ODI between India and England on Tuesday.
Debutants Krunal Pandya and Prasidh Krishna shine
Team India handed out the national cap to two players before the start of the game – Krunal Pandya and Prasidh Krishna. While Krunal had previously played for India in the T20I format, Krishna had no international experience and had come up the ranks courtesy his showings in the Indian Premier League with Kolkata Knight Riders and in domestic cricket, where he represented Karnataka.
Krunal was in the limelight first up after India had been sent in to bat first. Despite a blazing start that saw the home team reach 169 for 1, the English side bounced back strongly to reduce the Indians to 205 for 5. With their backs to the wall, Krunal Pandya, with KL Rahul as company, batted fearlessly as he went on to smash the fastest half century by a debutant in ODI cricket (off 26 deliveries). Krunal was particularly harsh on Mark Wood – the best bowler in the T20I series for England – with one stroke impressing the most. It was a brutal slash through extra cover that carried over for a six despite not rising much off the ground.
He helped his team reach a formidable total of 317 that looked impossible at one stage and even allowed Rahul to get back into his groove by playing his natural game and not letting the pressure build. Rahul, who did not have the best T20I series and looked out of sorts in the first few deliveries on Tuesday, found confidence with Krunal going hammer and tongs.
Krishna, on the other hand, too had his moment but not after being carted all over the park. The duo of Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow piled on their 12th hundred-run partnership in ODI cricket and with the openers looking well set, Team India looked in trouble. England had raced away to 135 for 1 after just 14.2 overs, with the opening duo being particularly harsh on newcomer Krishna.
However, the 25-year old kept his nerves as he returned to bowl better line and lengths in his second spell. He got the wicket of Roy, one of his four wickets, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur impressed as well – the latter picking up three wickets, with the former keeping a check on the economy rate.
England collapsed thereafter, and lost their next five wickets for only 41 runs in the space of 62 balls. They did not have a player like Krunal who could go for his shots in the lower middle order, which came to affect them in the end.
A day of injuries
Both teams are suffering from a number of injury concerns, but while India have a talented pool to choose from, England’s lack of depth has been all too visible. After Jofra Archer was ruled out of the ODI series due to an elbow injury, England included Tom Curran in their playing XI. The bowler, however, could not make the most of his chances and had a poor outing in the first ODI, which put the bowling attack under a lot of pressure. To make matters worse, Sam Billings and Eoin Morgan ended the day with injuries as well, and their participation in the remainder of the tour remains in doubt.
First, Billings landed awkwardly on his shoulder as he dived to save a boundary, with the ECB later confirming that he would be taken for scans. Morgan got stitches after a split webbing, and though he batted on Tuesday, he might miss the remainder of the series.
India too, were not far from injuries as Shreyas Iyer dislocated his shoulder and Rohit Sharma did not field after being hit on the elbow while batting.
Shikhar Dhawan rises back to answer critics
Opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan has come under scrutiny of late due to his poor form in both domestic and international cricket. After being dropped from the T20I team, the onus was on Dhawan to grab his chances in 50-over cricket. The Indian management put their trust in the veteran and asked him to open the innings alongside Rohit Sharma, and Dhawan did not disappoint as he helped his team get off to a watchful start. His knock of 98 was laced with classic strokes and quick singles and twos, and he will be disappointed to miss out on what was a deserving ton.
Dhawan has always risen his game whenever he has come under the scanner – his twin hundreds in the Indian Premier League last year is evidence – and it should not come as a surprise if he fares well in the upcoming months to regain a spot in the T20I team as well ahead of the World Cup.
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