India started off the three-match ODI series against England on a bright note, with a 66-run win in the first match at Pune. It turned out to be a memorable match for the Indian fans for a number of reasons. Krunal Pandya and Prasidh Krishna, both of whom debuted in this match, came up with terrific performances.
Krunal went on to play a magnificent knock of 58 not out in 31 balls to propel India to a 318/5. He reached his fifty in 26 balls, the fastest by a debutant in ODI history. He then finished his 10 overs with figures of 1-59. Krishna, on the other hand, registered figures of 4-54, the best by an Indian bowler on ODI debut.
Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul, struggling of late, regained form here. While Dhawan made 98 in 105 balls, Rahul’s 62 not out took him just 43. Skipper Virat Kohli also carried his form from the T20I series forward into the ODI leg as he made 56 off 60. He looked all set to end his long wait for a century today but was out caught in the deep while trying to go for a big shot off Mark Wood.
All in all, it was a fabulous batting effort by India but they didn’t find things that easy as far as their bowling was concerned. Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy got the visitors off to a strong start, putting on a stand of 135 runs for the first wicket inside the first 15 overs. The Indian bowlers seemed to have little clue about how to stop them. But they didn’t lose confidence and composure, which helped them in making their way back into the game.
Krishna was wayward with his line and length in his first spell. He conceded 37 in his first three overs. But he made adjustments during his second spell, and reaped rewards immediately. He claimed the wickets of Roy (46) and Ben Stokes (1) in consecutive overs to reduce England to 137/2.
However, that did not stop England from going ahead with their attacking approach. Bairstow and Eoin Morgan continued to charge the Indian bowlers, but the same approach began to backfire a few overs later.
Bairstow (94) was out caught in the deep trying to loft a delivery from Shardul Thakur, after a 32-run stand for the third wicket with Morgan. His wicket opened the floodgates as England lost their next seven wickets in the space of just 82 runs.
Thakur struck twice to dismiss Morgan (22) and Jos Buttler (2) a couple of overs after Barstow’s dismissal. Moeen Ali (30) and Sam Curran (12) provided England some hope with a 41-run stand for the sixth wicket, but it was inadequate against some brilliant bowling by the Indians. Bhuvneshwar Kumar (9-0-30-2), Krishna, and Krunal accounted for the remaining five wickets as they bowled England out for a total of 251 in 42.1 overs.
There were many contenders for the Player of the Match award today, but the jury decided to hand it to Dhawan. India are now 1-0 up in the series.
India 317/5 in 50 overs (Shikhar Dhawan 98, KL Rahul 62*, Krunal Pandya 58*, Virat Kohli 56; Ben Stokes 3-34) beat England 251 in 42.1 Overs (Jonny Bairstow 94; Prasidh Krishna 4-54, Shardul Thakur 3-37) by 66 runs. Player of the Match: Shikhar Dhawan.
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