Sunday Jan 15, 2017
PUNE: Skipper Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav hit blistering centuries to help India chase down 350 and stun England by three wickets in the first one-day international in Pune on Sunday.
Kohli (122), who was leading the limited-overs side for the first time, and Jadhav (120) put on 200 runs for the fifth wicket as India achieved the target with 11 balls to spare.
Allrounder Hardik Pandya kept his nerves to take India home with his unbeaten 40 off 37 deliveries. Ravichandran Ashwin (15 not out) hit a six to finish off the match in style.
Earlier put into bat, England posted their highest-ever ODI total against the hosts in India, 350-7, with Jason Roy (73), Joe Root (78) and Ben Stokes (62) scoring half-centuries.
In their reply India were tottering at 63 for four when Kohli and man of the match Jadhav combined forces for a blazing counter attack that caught the Eoin Morgan-led side unawares.
"At 60 for 4, yes I was still thinking win. The moment I saw Kedar hitting the ball well, I told him let´s get to 150 for 4, and they are going to hit the panic button," said Kohli.
"The only way we could have come out of this was to counter attack. We couldn´t win with those singles. We needed to tell the opposition that we believe we can win."
Yuvraj Singh (15), who returned to the ODI team after a three-year gap, and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (6), playing his first match after relinquishing his limited overs captaincy, failed to fire.
But the 28-year-old skipper lived up to his epithet of ´King Kohli´ as he smashed 8 fours and 5 sixes during his 105-ball stay at the crease.
The star batsman, who brought up his 27th ODI hundred with a six off Chris Woakes, batted with purpose to bring alive a capacity crowd at the Maharashtra Cricket Association stadium.
However, it was the lesser known Jadhav, who was the aggressor in the partnership, putting the England attack to the sword.
Local boy Jadhav, who recorded his second ODI ton in just his 13th game, hit 12 fours and 4 sixes in his 76-ball knock.
"The way he batted was absolutely terrific. Not at one stage did he look unsure of what he wanted to do," said Kohli in praise of Jadhav.
"Very calculative. Brilliant, brilliant knock. Some of the shots he played, I was in awe (of Jadhav)."
The match took an interesting turn after both the centurions got out with India still needing over 50 runs.
Kohli was out to seam bowler Stokes while Jadhav, who struggled with cramps in the later part of his innings, succumbed to paceman Jake Ball (3-67).
But Pandya´s blitz ensured that India took a 1-0 lead in the three-match series.
In the England innings, Stokes´ 40-ball 62 propelled his team to a formidable total.
After being put in to bat, England lost Alex Hales early on. But opener Roy and Root added 69 for the second wicket to lay a solid foundation for others to build on.
Root, who joined the side on Thursday after the birth of his son last week, piloted the innings and got support from Jos Buttler (31) and then Stokes.
Root´s stay was cut short after a slower ball from Jasprit Bumrah got the batsman caught at long on.
Stokes, who hit two fours and five sixes, then took charge to smash his fifty in just 33 balls.
England added 105 runs in the last eight overs of the innings.
"We did not play at our best today. We think we were in the game for most of it. So all is not lost," said Morgan.
The two teams now head to Cuttack for the second ODI on Thursday.