Stats: Virat’s Captaincy Milestone, Stokes Enters Slowest 50 Club
A win in the 1st ODI against England would have been the perfect gift for Virat Kohli to celebrate his 50th ODI as India captain. And that is exactly what the Indian team presented their captain with; at Trent Bridge in Nottingham, the Indian team defeated the hosts and the number-one ranked team England by 8-wickets to take a one-nil lead in the 3-ODI series.
After opting to bowl first, the Indian team dismissed England for 268 and then chased down the runs in clinical fashion in 40.1 overs.
With this win, Virat Kohli has led India to 39 wins in his 50 ODIs as India captain.
Kuldeep Gives India Control
The Indian team pulled things back in spectacular fashion after the England openers were seen in punishing mood at the start of the match. Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow came out all guns blazing and helped their team to 71 runs in the first ten overs. The introduction of Kuldeep Yadav in the eleventh over not only ended that damaging opening partnership, but also put England off tracks for a while. With just his second delivery in the match, he dismissed Roy; in his following over, he dismissed two of England’s best - Joe Root and the well-set Bairstow.
Having done the job of packing off the England top-order, Kuldeep was given a break after four overs and then brought back later on in the innings. Upon his return – in the 27th over, despite the field being spread out, he held his own against two well-set English batsmen; the 3-over second-spell only cost him 8 runs.
When he came on for a third spell, he struck a deadly blow to England’s hopes of posting a big total; he dismissed the home team’s man-in-form Jos Buttler – strangled down the leg-side. In his final spell of the afternoon, he dismissed Ben Stokes and David Willey to finish with sensational figures of 10-0-25-6.
Kuldeep Yadav’s figures would be, among many other things, the best returns by a left-arm spinner in the history of ODIs.
Stokes Scores but Struggles
Despite the struggles against Kuldeep Yadav, England could have still made a match of it. What sets this England team apart – compare to teams of yore – is this team is packed with attacking batsmen and has plenty of depth in the batting.
But at Trent Bridge on Thursday, there was one innings that stood out like sore; Stokes scored a half-century alright – but it was a completely uncharacteristic innings from the left-hander. He took 102 balls to get to his half-century, which is the slowest-known half-century by an England batsman in ODIs against India.
Some may see Stokes’ innings as a responsible knock – particularly given the circumstances (his comeback and England’s delicate position in the match). But Stokes is rated so highly because he is a go-getter, because he is able to make an impact, because he is capable of turning things around. It wasn’t to be on Thursday.
Cut to the run-chase, Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma gave India the perfect start, adding 59 in 7.5 overs. Dhawan dominated the opening partnership, scoring 40 out of the 59 runs, in the processing allowing his partner Rohit the time to settle down. As has become a habit with Rohit, he started slowly but accelerated steadily and carried on to score his 18th ODI hundred.
Rohit found good company in captain Virat; the pair stitched together a partnership of 167 runs – India’s best second-wicket partnership against England – to take the team to the brink.
Against the run of play – with a hundred there for the taking – Virat Kohli was dismissed for 74, stumped by Jos Buttler off the bowling of Adil Rashid.
But Rohit Sharma carried on and finished off the job on hand; he remained unbeaten on 137 – made from 114 balls, his innings decorated with 15 fours and 4 sixes.
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