IND v ENG 1st ODI Review: Virat, Kedar show India the way as Pandya finishes off the chase for Team India

IND v ENG 1st ODI Review: Virat, Kedar show India the way as Pandya finishes off the chase for Team India

Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav. (Photo Source: Twitter)

His first game as the full-time limited-overs captain of Team India and Virat Kohli scored a hundred and showed the team light on their way to a 350-run chase. It was not a pleasant start for them but the Virat-Kedar Jadhav partnership defined the innings for the Men in Blue who were donning their newly designed 4D jersey. Both Virat and Kedar scored brilliant centuries but were dismissed with the team still needing 59 runs. In the end allrounder Hardik Pandya played a sensible knock and Ravi Ashwin hit a six to seal the chase off for the team.

Eoin Morgan called heads but it turned Virat’s way and he wanted to utilize the dampness of the wicket and with due in play on a smaller MCA ground chasing looked like a better idea. The ‘New look England’ the ‘aggressive England’ played right to the reputation and Jason Roy was off to a breeze. Umesh Yadav and Hardik Pandya went for plenty early in the spell. There was hardly any consistency with the line and Roy punished them. Jasprit Bumrah got them the breakthrough though not as a bowler but managing a direct hit from the deep to find Alex Hales just short of the crease.

While Roy was smashing and thrashing the Indian bowlers at one end Joe Root played exactly opposite nudging the singles and letting his partner bulk up the score. After ten overs England were 67 for 1 – Roy had scored 52 of those runs. Bumrah was in the attack with his usual role of the first change bowler but clearly had an off day, he missed his length and when a Yorker bowler misses that it is easy fodder for the batsmen. When his pacers failed skipper Kohli turned to his slower bowlers.

The surface had a lot of grass and thus had nothing for the spinners. Ravindra Jadeja hardly relies on any of those factors and bowled to his strength – maintaining the accuracy. Roy had scored a 36-ball fifty and looked in dangerous touch but Jadeja saw him coming down the track and beat him only for MS Dhoni to whip off the bails – b Jadeja st Dhoni is such a common occurrence in limited-overs cricket and that gave India the big wicket.

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Root at the other end took his time to build the innings and scored 78 from 95 but a flat bat shot went straight to Pandya at mid-off and his stay came to an end. Eoin Morgan fell to a good DRS call from Team India edging Hardik to Dhoni behind the wickets and after a start Jos Buttler became his second prey on 31. Stokes blazed his way to a splendid half century in just 33 balls the fastest by an England player against India in ODIs. Just when it looked like the hosts can press them down 5 down for 244 in 41.4 overs the late charge from England’s lower order powered by Ben Stokes and Moeen Ali pushed them to 350.

Ravichandran Ashwin bowled a lot flatter, completely different from his Test strategy was a lot defensive here. The England batsmen enjoyed targeting him and Virat had to bring in Yuvraj Singh and Kedar Jadhav to share overs. Umesh Yadav too couldn’t carry on his Test form and was the most expensive Indian bowler on the day. Among Indian bowlers only Pandya and Jadeja completed their quota of overs. Bumrah bowled a few too many beamers and simply missed the length for his Yorkers by a good couple of yards.

India had the worst possible starts to their chase – both Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul couldn’t kick start the innings and probably started with the pressure of the target on their mind edged one to third man and was out for 1 and Rahul was bowled by David Willey for 8. With just 9 runs on the board Virat Kohli and Yuvraj Singh were in the middle for Team India.

When the pressure mounts all Virat knows to do is burst out of it with counter attack and that is exactly what he did. The drives, the flicks, the maneuvers at the crease got him boundaries against decent deliveries and he had the English bowlers thinking. Yuvraj at the other end also played some eye catching shots but was dismissed by Stokes. Dhoni had an uncharacteristic 6-ball stay in the middle and played a rash shot to walk back.

At 63/4 in 11.5 overs there was silence at the ground and among Indian fans. They hadn’t killed hopes since Virat was still there in the middle but he needed a partner to help him see the team through. In walked the local boy Kedar Jadhav and enhanced his reputation several times by the character he showed on the night. The Indian skipper explained him the plan was to keep attacking and reverse the pressure on the opposition. It worked!

Once the spinners were in the boundaries became more frequent. With no assistance from the surface and the batsmen absolutely coming onto them 14.1 overs of spin cost Eoin Morgan 120 runs and they couldn’t get him a single wicket. By then the foundation for the chase was laid. Kohli-Kedar partnership was worth over 100 but the job was not done. Both the batsmen got to their half centuries and while the skipper was slower than run a ball, the latter needed just 29 balls to get there.

Virat’s belief and the intent to go for a win no matter what the situation was once again was the guiding light for them and they were in sight for their hundreds. He danced down the track and hit Chris Woakes over his head for a six to bring up his century; the 27th of his career. Jadhav also got there – his second ODI century and took just 59 balls to score the 6th fastest century by an Indian in ODIs. Virat played a false shot on 122 and Willey wouldn’t drop a dolly.

Jadhav was cramping excessively and couldn’t run but he didn’t give up. He relied on muscling the ball to the boundary or over it and got to 120 but one didn’t have enough air to sail over and was caught in the deep by Stokes. The chase wasn’t finished but the ask was at run a ball now and with three allrounder Pandya, Jadeja and Ashwin the Indian camp still believed they were in the game.

The young seam bowling allrounder played a sensible knock, not using power but tact to get the boundaries and his unbeaten 40 ensured the team was over the line with 11 balls in hand. With the win Virat Kohli’s century became the 15th for him in successful run-chases for India and he broke Sachin Tendulkar’s record (14). This is Team India’s 51st ODI win against England. Kedar Jadhav owned himself the Man of the Math award

Brief Scores:

England: 350/7 in 50 overs (Joe Root 78, Jason Roy 73; Hardik Pandya 2/46)

India: 356/7 in 48.1 overs (Virat Kohli 122, Kedar Jadhav 120; Jake Ball 3/67)

Watch the video of Virat’s knock: