Virat Kohli-led India look to maintain their dominance in the one day internationals as they aim for their 10th consecutive bilateral series victory.
India won the first of the three ODIs against England at Trent Bridge convincingly and would look to wrap up the series with another win when the two side meet at the Lord’s on Saturday.
In the first match, a maiden fifer for chinaman Kuldeep Yadav (6/25) followed by Rohit Sharma’s unbeaten 137-run knock sealed a comfortable eight-wicket victory for India.
The visitors dominated England, the No. 1 ODI side, in all departments of the game and took a crucial 1-0 lead in the series with 59 balls to spare.
The stars of the match were Kuldeep and Rohit, who thrashed hosts batsmen and bowlers through out the match.
The batting department seemed settled with opener Shikhar Dhawan coming in form. The Delhi batsman played 27 balls and scored 40 runs, which includes eight boundaries.
Skipper Virat Kohli also showed why he is called one of the best batsmen in the format. India’s routine chasers Kohli and his in-form deputy Rohit collaborated for a 167-run stand to break the hopes of English bowers.
But the middle and lower-order is yet to be tested but the way English bowlers were playing it seemed an uphill task to reach India’s middle and lower order.
In the bowling department, Kuldeep continued to remain headache for English batsmen. In the shortest format also and now in 50-overs game.
Kuldeep scalped six wickets for just 25 runs. He was well supported by pacer Umesh Yadav but the pacer was little expensive.
The only concern for India is the pacers. Umesh, Hardik Pandya, debutant Siddharth Kaul were not effective as they leaked few runs when spinners, Kuldeep, Yuzvendra Chahal trying to put pressure on English batsmen. However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar is likely to return to the playing XI.
England, on the other hand, had many things to work on. Their batsmen failed to click in unison. If top-order clicks middle and lower order fails. Joe Root continued his poor shot selection in the first match also while skipper Eoin Morgan failed to utilise the start.
The bowling department also seemed to be struggling as no bowlers were able to put pressure on India batsmen. Mark Wood, David Willy, experienced Liam Plunkett and Ben stokes need to click this time in order to take the series to the third match.
So it’s a do-or-die game for the English players as one more loss and they are out of contention.
India — Virat Kohli (Captain), Shikhar Dhawan, Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul, MS Dhoni (Wicket-keeper), Dinesh Karthik, Suresh Raina, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal, Shreyas Iyer, Siddarth Kaul, Axar Patel, Umesh Yadav, Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar
England — Eoin Morgan (Captain), Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler (Wicket-keeper), Moeen Ali, Joe Root, Jake Ball, Tom Curran, Alex Hales, Liam Plunkett, Ben Stokes, Adil Rashid, David Willey, Mark Wood
(With input from IANS)