Shikhar, Shardul and the two debutants show off their class as India lead the series 1-0

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Shikhar Dhawan’s jaw-dropping innings, Krunall Pandya’s record-breaking half-century on ODI debut, Prasidh Krishna’s record-breaking bowling figure on ODI debut and Shardul Thakur’s gamechanging spell perfectly comprised a cluster of match-winning performances as the Men in Blue won the first ODI of the Paytm ODI trophy against England in Pune.

In the afternoon of Pune, England won the toss and elected to bowl first. India came out to bat with the opening duo of Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan. It didn’t seem to be Hitman’s day as he departed for just 28 off 42 balls including four boundaries. After Rohit’s departure, Indian captain Virat Kohli came out to bat at no. 3.

Virat and Shikhar’s partnership gained India the match’s momentum. Shikhar Dhawan played a historic innings as he scored 98 of 106 balls including eleven boundaries and two sixes while captain Kohli scored an innings 56 runs of 60 balls which included four boundaries. After Virat Kohli’s departure, Shreyas Iyer came out ot bat but failed to meet the expectations as he managed to score 6 runs of 9 balls with one boundary.

After Shreyas, KL Rahul came in. On the other side, after Shikhar Dhawan got out with just two short of a century, Hardik Pandya put on his helmet. KL Rahul started of well but, Hardik departed for just 1 of 9 deliveries. At that moment, ODI debutant, Krunall Pandya came in. The Rahul-Krunall partnership did the rest for India as both of them scored a half-century each with Krunall hitting the fastest ODI half century by any Indian in ODIs. At the end of 50 overs, India was able to put up a score of 317 for the lose of 5 wickets.

After the break, England came out to bat to chase a mammoth total. Both the openers, Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow played off well with Jason Roy scoring 46 of 35 deliveries while Bairstow scored 94 of just 66 deliveries which included six boundaries and seven 6’s. They were 135/1 after 14.2 overs but the games momentum was shifted back to India after Shardul Thakur got Bairstow out. Ben Stokes once again failed to perform at a crucial moment and had to depart for just 1 of 11 deliveries. Then, in the 25th over, once again, SHARDUL Thakur showed off his brilliance as he claimed both Eoin Morgan and Jos Buttler’s wicket in a single over.

After that, the visitors weren’t able to find their feet as their innings collapsed for 251 in the 43rd over. Prasidh Krishna also played a major role as he picked up four crucial wickets and also became the first Indian bowler to have the best spell on an ODI debut with a bowling figure of 4/54 in 8.1 overs. With this win, India lead the three-match series 1-0. The second ODI will be played on 26 March in Pune itself.

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Dipro Mukherjee
18. Calcutta. Sagittarius. Sports Columnist.

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