Careless England after being in a position of control, inexplicably lost the first one-day international by 66 runs to trail India 1-0 in the three-match series. Hosts India, who batted first after being put in to bat by visiting captain Eoin Morgan, started slowly as experienced opening pair Rohit Sharma and Shikar Dhawan were content to play themselves in. When Sharma was out caught behind playing a rash shot off the bowling of Ben Stokes, it was left to Virat Kohli and Dhawan to rebuild the innings.
India captain Kohli, seemed content to play himself in and was starting to settle into this innings nicely. The RCB man passed fifty for the 61st time in his imperious career. Virat Kohli does have the impressive record of being the 2nd best player in world cricket to convert 50’s into 100’s. So when Kohli was surprisingly out for 56, Delhi Daredevils captain Shreyas Iyer was also quick dismissed soon after.
Those two quick dismissals lead to the arrival of hard-hitting Hardik Pandya to the crease. Disappointingly for the Mumbai Indian’s player, he was dismissed for just a single. England were sensing blood because at the other end was out of form KL Rahul who didn’t get going in the T2o series between the two sides. Rahul and younger brother Krunal Pandya who was on debut, combined to put on 112 for the sixth wicket.
The home side India finished on 317-5 in what experts felt was probably just about par on a pitch that seemed to be more favourable to bat on. England, who was the defending World Champions, in the four years prior to their triumph and the two years after have been belligerent in their approach when chasing such totals down. This total of 318 to win, seemed well within England’s grasp, especially with opening pair Jason Roy (46) and Jonny Bairstow (94) put on 135 runs in 14.2 overs.
When Jason Roy was out off the bowling of debutant Praside Krishna (4-54) who recovered well after a nervy and expensive couple of opening overs, the KKR man stifled the tourists’ attack. It wasn’t just Krishna who strangled England’s scoring Bhuvneshwar Kumar (2-30) and Shardul Thakur (3-37, who also recovered from a tough start helped set up an almighty England collapse.
After being 135-0, the tourists lost 10 wickets for 116 runs. The highest scorer after Bairstow and Roy was Moeen Ali, who was undone by a superb Kumar delivery. A painful defeat for England then, who seemed odds on to win this first game, but some ill-discipline and the wrong mindset cost them dearly. The two sides do it all again at the same venue, The Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune on Sunday.