IND v ENG, 2nd ODI Review: Yuvraj and Dhoni guide India to series win

IND v ENG, 2nd ODI Review: Yuvraj and Dhoni guide India to series win

Team India
Team India. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Virat Kohli’s 100 percent record as India captain remained intact as the Indians went ahead and claimed an impressive win over England in the second ODI in Cuttack. With that, they have bagged the series as well. It was also a clear case of two Indian batsmen in Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni who quintessentially rolled back the years as they stitched their best partnership yet. As for Eoin Morgan & Co. they got in range of the target but in the end were there but not exactly there.

The Indian innings got off to a rather poor start as they were rocked by England bowlers who, as reported were ‘furiously working’ on their bowling plans. These plans had seemingly paid off at the time when Chris Woakes, their strike bowler on the day began to make the ball do the talking. The talking continued in the first 10 overs as the Indian top order collapsed like a pack of cards.

First to go was KL Rahul. As the bowler had done in the first ODI, he was once again snapped up by Woakes who got the ball to seam away. It was a shame really since it was Rahul who set the tone for the innings with a thump through the covers to the boundary. Virat Kohli then made a similar statement when he slammed the two of the first three deliveries to the fence via drives down the ground. However, the moment of crisis was not too far away.

Another fuller delivery from Woakes ensured that the Indian skipper had to make his way back to the haven of the dressing sheds. Kohli played for a yorker opening the face of the bat to slash it but it wasn’t just full enough and he hit his bat in the ground as the ball took the outside edge to Ben Stokes at second slip who took a good catch diving to his left.

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Shikhar Dhawan’s slow buildup also crumbled when he chopped the ball onto his bails. At 25/3, the Indians were reeling and relying on their senior members MS Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh to dig them out of trouble on the day. This was going to be a supremely difficult task given the fact that they had been through a bad patch themselves in terms of form.

The initial stages of the partnership began with Yuvraj Singh dominating the bowlers while Dhoni simply knocked the ball around. They were getting the runs and ensured there was no further damage and that gradually brought them back in the game.

While Yuvraj was making waves with his batting, it was Dhoni was batting in a tantalizingly slow manner. This slowness was there for one and all to see as he had 21 runs from 44 deliveries at one point in time. The crowd held its breath while they went ahead stitching their partnership, something that would go on to be of the magnitude in excess of 200 runs.

In contrast to Dhoni, it was Yuvraj Singh who was ensuring that the good pace of the wicket was not going to waste. His trademark shots were once again the talk of the town as he brought back the vintage Yuvi memories back. Some of the shots he played were simply phenomenal and gave England no chance whatsoever.

The partnership between the duo also went ahead and ensured that the Indians had once again managed to dig themselves out of a hole they were in similar to the previous match. It took a Herculean effort from Chris Woakes and Jake Ball, in particular, to ensure that no more runs were scored on the evening. Dhoni and Yuvraj both scored centuries and were exceptional towards the second part of the innings.

While Yuvi scored his 15th ODI hundred, the first after the World Cup 2011, MS reached his 10th in 50 overs cricket and the duo went absolutely berserk after the triple figures. Yuvraj started playing riskier shots and they all cashed until he edged one to the keeper on his best ODI score of 15. Dhoni was there till the very end and on the last ball of the 47th over from Liam Plunkett after smashing three sixes earlier in the over.

Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja brought an end to an impressive inning with Kedar Jadhav, the superstar of the previous match also chipping in with some quickfire runs as well. After what seemed to be. A minor collapse saw the Indians complete on an incredible 381/6, something that looked highly unlikely at the start.

What was more unexpected was the fact that the first over Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled was a maiden. Things continued for a while as both openers started to amass the runs at a fairly decent clip before it was Alex Hales who eventually edged Jasprit Bumrah who was Bhuvi’s new ball partner today.

After the phase of consolidation, caution and preparation for the rampage things looked bright for England at the 20-over mark as both Jason Roy and Joe Root simply had everything under control. However, this once again seemed to be a crisis point for England as Virat Kohli handed the ball to his two spinners. Joe Root was the first to be dismissed after he was picked up by the combination of Ashwin and Kohli. After scoring 82, Jason Roy and his defenses were breached by the uncanny Ravindra Jadeja.

Defeat seemed imminent for England when Ashwin’s arm ball cleaned up Ben Stokes as the writing was well and truly on the wall. The wickets continued to tumble as well as Ashwin quickly fired one on the leg-side while Jos Buttler jumped down the track to see Dhoni flash off the bails. Buttler was expected to play a crucial role in the huge chase. Ashwin bowled an attacking line in contrast to what he did in the last game and though was a tad bit expensive earned the team three valuable wickets which proved decisive in the end.

However, Moeen Ali and skipper Eoin Morgan weren’t willing to give in just under the pressure of the scoreboard. The two stitched a fine partnership and kept them in the fray. They found themselves at a point where try requires just the 113 runs from the final 10 overs. Morgan lost Ali after the latter scored his half century but the skipper changed gears to make the Indian feel the heat.

Once he was in his grooves even the decent balls were hit for boundaries and sixes. Skipper Kohli had his best bowlers Bhuvi and Bumrah for the last 7 overs but Morgan didn’t have any troubles striking them through all around the ground at will. At one stage it looked like he would run away with the game, but just as he reached his century a magnificent 102 from just 81 balls Plunkett hit one straight down to Bumrah who sprint to the stumps and shattered England’s hopes of a surprising victory. In the end, they ended 15 short of the target as Bhuvneshwra bowled a tidy final over.

Watch: MS Dhoni mocks Jasprit Bumrah after running Eoin Morgan out

Brief Scores:

India: 381/6 in 50 overs (Yuvraj Singh 150, MS Dhoni 134; Chris Woakes 4/60)

England: 366/8 (Eoin Morgan 102; Ravi Ashwin 3/65)