2nd ODI: Rahul, Pant & Kohli Power India to 336/6 Against England
India brought in Pant for the injured Shreyas Iyer and his assault took the wind out of the English sails.
KL Rahul drove and pulled with panache during his knock of 108 while Rishabh Pant was his usual free-scoring self, scoring 77 off 40 deliveries, catapulting India to a total of 336/6 against England in the second ODI at Pune. India captain Virat Kohli, who was looking good again, scored 66 off 79 deliveries.
India currently lead the three match ODI series 1-0.
India brought in Pant, who smashed 7 sixes and 3 fours, for the injured Shreyas Iyer in the middle order and his brutal assault took the wind out of the sails of the visitors. This was Pant’s first ODI since January, 2020 when he played in Mumbai against Australia.
Asked to bat first by Jos Buttler, India started off with a setback of sorts as the in-form Shikhar Dhawan was caught in the slips by Ben Stokes off Reece Topley in the fourth over for 4.
Rohit Sharma (25), who had an injury scare in the first ODI while batting, was finding the fence relative ease, but could not make a start count. Looking for a boundary off Sam Curran to fine leg, Rohit’s glance was uppish and straight to Adil Rashid at short fine, who held on.
Captain Virat Kohli at the other end was joined by KL Rahul and the duo were quick to steady the ship, running hard between the wickets and keeping the scoreboard moving along.
Kohli and Rahul kept very busy during their partnership with the skipper scoring yet another half century.
Kohli, who scored 66 smashed 3 boundaries and one six during his stay of 79 deliveries, stitching together a 121-run stand with Rahul for the third wicket.
Kohli, who was dropped once by Jos Buttler, was eventually dismissed by Adil Rashid with the England captain on the day holding on the next time round.
Rahul, who by now had completed his half-century as well, decided to up the scoring rate at his end and was joined by the left-handed Rishabh Pant for the final half of the innings.
With Pant going taking the attack to England in his inimitable way Rahul at the other end was starting to show off his repertoire of shots; piercing the gaps with regularity and giving the opposition bowlers quite a bit to think about.
Pant, who was dealing in fours and sixes, raced away to his half century off 28 deliveries, pulling, slog sweeping and lofting the bowling with great power and ease.
Soon after, Rahul, who was looking a far cry from the out-of-touch batsman that he was in the T20Is, completed an elegant century, with the final five overs set to roll on.
Rahul and Pant put on 113 runs off 80 deliveries, leaving India in a great position to tee off in the final few overs with their power hitters.
Next to walk in was Hardik Pandya and he hit Sam Curran for a couple of sixes off the first three deliveries he faced.
Hardik and Pant put on 37 runs off 13 deliveries, smashing 5 sixes in that period before Pant was caught by Jason Roy at third man of Tom Curran for 77 off 40 deliveries.
Hardik went on to add 35 off 16 deliveries while Krunal at the other end also added a few lusty blows, taking India to 336/6.
(The Quint is available on Telegram. For handpicked stories every day, subscribe to us on Telegram)
Subscribe To Our Daily Newsletter And Get News Delivered Straight To Your Inbox.