Cuttack (Odisha) [India]: India, which is high on confidence following their cruising victory against England in the first ODI, would like to take a 2-0 unassailable lead in the three-match series when the two side would face each other here at the Barabati Stadium today.
The visiting team would certainly feel a bit deflated after failing to defend a total of 350 having got four top-order batsmen back into the dressing room for less than 100 on Sunday.
Middle order Indian batsman Kedar Jadhav, along with skipper Virat Kohli, rattled up a sensational partnership for the fifth wicket to set up the platform for India after England set the hosts a stiff 351-run target in the first ODI at the Maharashtra Cricket Association ( MCA) Stadium.
Jadhav (120 off 76 balls), who came to bat at No. 7 after India had lost four wickets at 63, batted extremely well with Kohli (122) as the duo stitched together a 200-run partnership to ensure the hosts chase down the mammoth target.
India now are the only team to have chased 350-plus thrice and in each of them Kohli has been the backbone with centuries each. Adding to that, India has had a good record in Cuttack, where they have won 11 out of their 15 ODI games.
While the Indian bowling was taken to task by the England batsmen on a Pune belter, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and recalled Indian batsman Yuvraj Singh’s failure with the bat was the only blot in their victory. Another person, who needs to worry is left-handed opener Shikhar Dhawan, who is visibly out of form.
The bowling looked ordinary with the pacers struggling to get the ball in the right areas. The Eoin Morgan-led side would need something extraordinary to recover from the body blows as they have to win the remaining two matches which would require quite a feat.
Barring Chris Woakes and David Willey’s twin breakthroughs early on, the English attack lacked intensity and were wayward bowling too many extras in the opening game. If England’s batting looks full of firepower, it’s their bowling that has been struggling in the past.
India: Virat Kohli (c), KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, MS Dhoni (wk), Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya, Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Jasprit Bumrah, Umesh Yadav, Ajinkya Rahane, Manish Pandey, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Amit Mishra.
England: Eoin Morgan (c), Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Joe Root, Jos Buttler (wk), Ben Stokes, Moeen Ali, Chris Woakes, David Willey, Adil Rashid, Jake Ball, Liam Dawson, Jonny Bairstow, Sam Billings, Liam Plunkett. (ANI)