NEW DELHI: Former India batsman VVS Laxman expressed his pleasure on India successful the ODI sequence opener by 66 runs towards England on Tuesday.
In his column for the Times of India, Laxman wrote, “To their great relief, I am sure, India managed to win the first game of a series for the first time since last November. They are now well placed to complete a series win across all formats against England, who will wonder long and hard how they let the first ODI get away.”
Opener Shikhar Dhawan prime scored for India with a 98-run knock and KL Rahul (62*) put up an unbeaten 112-run stand with debutant Krunal Pandya.
“I must compliment the team management for having kept faith with Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul. With so many options available, it could have been tempting to leave at least one, but they backed the two established players, and were rewarded for their show of faith. Dhawan blossomed with time spent on what was initially a challenging surface, while Rahul overcame a nervy start to come into his own with a series of breathtaking strokes,” Laxman wrote.
Dhawan put on 105 runs for the second wicket with captain Virat Kohli. Kohli reached a run-a-ball fifty however fell for 56 to tempo bowler Mark Wood.
“Rohit Sharma and Dhawan batted beautifully against the new-ball pair of Mark Wood and Sam Curran, who found both movement and appreciable bounce. When Rohit fell chasing a wide one, Virat Kohli swung the momentum India’s way with his busy approach, allowing Dhawan to bat at his pace. India looked good for a big score during the Dhawan-Kohli stand, but the loss of four quick wickets for not many – including Dhawan just short of his century – pegged them back, their cause not helped by Rahul’s initial blues,” Laxman added.
Pandya hit an unbeaten 58 off 31 balls to steer India to 317/5.
“But debutant Krunal Pandya facilitated a grandstand finish, inspiring Rahul in the process. Carrying the confidence of loads of domestic runs with him, the older Pandya took the fight to England from the beginning, becoming the fastest on debut to reach an ODI fifty. He and Rahul exposed England’s death-overs limitations with a sustained assault that hauled India to a par score,” Laxman opined.
Debutant tempo bowler Prasidh Krishna claimed 4/54, a finest by an Indian on debut, and Shardul Thakur shared seven wickets between them and turned the sport on its head after Jonny Bairstow put on a blazing opening stand of 135 with Jason Roy.
“Within 10 overs of the chase, their 317 looked puny as Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy took charge. Apart from Bhuvneshwar Kumar, the rest of the bowling looked clueless with boundaries cascading unabated. Again, a debutant put his hand up. Prasidh Krishna had conceded 37 in his first spell when, going against his grain, he pitched the ball up looking for swing. Once he hit his natural, slightly back-of-length rhythm in his second spell, he was a bowler transformed. That he was able to adapt and adjust so quickly was most impressive. After Prasidh got rid of Roy, India were all over England. I loved the intensity of the bowling group, which gave England nothing. Roy was followed back to the pavilion by Ben Stokes; when Shardul Thakur picked up three wickets in the space of six runs a little later, England were all but done,” Laxman wrote.
Shreyas Iyer dislocated his left shoulder whereas fielding on Tuesday and he’s set to endure surgical procedure, which is able to rule him out of motion for a minimal 4 months.
“I feel for Shreyas Iyer, whose series is over through injury. Suryakumar Yadav or Rishabh Pant will replace him, both are equally capable of winning a match off their own bat,” Laxman concluded.