In Stats: Virat Breaks Sachin’s Record & India’s Chases vs England
Take a look at the first ODI between India and England through numbers.
Virat Kohli scored a sensational hundred in his first match as India’s full-time ODI captain, and together with Kedar Jadhav who scored a scintillating hundred, helped India to a one-nil lead in the three-match ODI series against England.
In pursuit of the target of 351, India were in a dire situation at 63 for 4, but Virat and Kedar took the fight to the opposition, turned the tables around and set the platform for what turned out to be a comfortable win in the end. India sailed past the target with three wickets in hand and with nearly two overs remaining in the chase.
After opting to bat first, when England finished at 350-7 – their highest total in ODIs against India – they must have sensed they pretty much had the match in the kitty.
Never before had any team chased down such a steep target against England. That feeling of having enough runs on the board must have only been reaffirmed when England had India on the mat at 63 for 4 in the twelfth over.
But the “King of run-chases” Virat Kohli always believed, and together with Kedar Jadhav put the innings back on track with a superbly compiled partnership. Virat played some breathtaking strokes – none more stunning than the on-driven six to a back of a length delivery off Chris Woakes, while Kedar ensured there was no let up in pressure at his end and kept despatching the England bowlers to the boundaries regularly.
It was counter-attacking cricket at its best. The pitch was flat, the boundaries were short and there was always opportunity for a fight back. It helped India’s cause that once Virat and Kedar brought their aggressive instincts to the fore and turned the heat on England, the visitors lost the plot and their captain Eoin Morgan looked listless. The pair added 200 runs at breathtaking speed – the runs coming off only 150 balls; the partnership was decorated with 17 fours and five sixes.
While the big hits were all eye-catching, the two batsmen were also alert to picking up plenty of singles (81) and sneaked the additional run on every available occasion. The partnership was broken in the 37th over when Virat top-edged a short delivery and was caught by David Willey at cover.
The numbers illustrate the story of the damage Virat and Kedar had inflicted on the visitors. When they got together in the twelfth over, India still needed 288 runs at a rate of 7.55. When they were separated, India needed only 88 runs and the required rate stood at a manageable 6.44.
Virat carried his dream form from 2016 into this year. In his first outing this year, he pulverised the England bowlers and scored 122 from 105 balls. This knock can go down into the archives as one of the best-ever.
India were chasing a tall ask, the team was in a bad position at one stage, and it was his first match in-charge of the Indian ODI team. But at no stage did Virat think about any other result than an Indian win.
One could see the intent in everything he did, every stroke he played, ever time he hared across the pitch, every chat he had with his non-striker.
End result: a 17th ton in run-chases in ODIs. And when at the start of the 49th over, Ashwin deposited Moeen Ali into the stands to seal the match in India’s favour, it meant yet another of Virat’s run-chase hundreds had resulted in a win. He now has more hundreds in successful run-chases in ODIs than any other cricketer.
After the win in Pune, Virat’s numbers in successful run-chases make for extraordinary reading: 60 ODIs, 3,636 runs, 90.90 average, 15 hundreds and 15 fifties.
While the spotlight was on Virat for more reasons than one, Kedar celebrated the occasion of donning the India colours for the first time in front of his home crowd by scoring his second ODI hundred. It was a rare occasion of an Indian player scoring an ODI hundred on his home ground.
Virat Kohli did so previously in Delhi in 2011 and Sachin Tendulkar accomplished the feat prior to that in 1996.
The 31-year old cruised to his hundred – getting to the three-figure mark in 65 deliveries. It was the second-quickest century by an Indian in ODIs against England – bettered only by Yuvraj Singh’s 64-ball ton at Rajkot in 2008.
And India’s chase of 351 is the highest target chased down in ODIs against England.
That it was done from such a dire situation, yet accomplished so comfortably points to the strength of this Indian batting line-up and the lack of bite in the England bowling attack.
There is plenty for both teams to work on – especially on the bowling front – before the second ODI that will be played in Cuttack on 19 January. Can England come back to level the series, or will India go ahead and establish a 2-0 lead?
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