Chinaman bowler Kuldeep Yadav bamboozled the English batsmen with a mesmerising spell before Rohit Sharma’s sublime century saw India cruise to an eight-wicket victory in the first One-Day Inetrnational here on Thursday.
Kuldeep’s career-best figures of six for 25 allowed England to only score a modest 268 in good batting conditions.
The chase was a stroll in the park as the runs were knocked off in only 40.1 overs courtesy Rohit’s (137 not out). The opener’s 18th ODI hundred was complemented by skipper Virat Kohli (75) as the two added 177 runs in 25.1 overs to seal the issue.
Once Kohli opted to field, the English script unfolded very much on similar lines as the T20 series, where things went downhill as soon as Kuldeep was introduced into the attack.
None of the England batsmen was able to read him; he bowled an astounding 38 dot balls and was not hit for a boundary. This was Kuldeep’s first five-for in ODIs after he had achieved the same feat in T20Is during the Manchester encounter.
The manner in which Kuldeep set up the match, there was no scoreboard pressure on the Indian batting line-up unlike the last ODI series, where England overwhelmed Australia under a mountain of runs.
Rohit completed his century with an effortless hit down the ground off leg-spinner Adil Rashid. As if to celebrate the hundred, he also hit a one-handed six off Moeen Ali.
Kohli on his part hit eight boundaries and was ready to play the second fiddle during his 47th half century in ODI cricket.
Earlier, the match started with Jason Roy (38) and Jonny Bairstow (38) launching into Umesh Yadav and debutant Siddarth Kaul with a flurry of boundaries. They added 73 before a wrong poor reverse sweep brought about Roy’s downfall.
Kuldeep was not afraid to flight the ball and it dipped viciously having the batsmen in two minds. Some played with the turn and some tried against the turn — both with dismal outcomes.
At the start of the 13th over, Joe Root was befuddled by a ripping leg break and was trapped lbw. Four balls later, Bairstow was trapped lbw via DRS after failing to read the googly.
England had collapsed to 82 for three, losing three wickets for nine runs in the space of 16 balls. It became 105 for four as Chahal got into the mix of things with Eoin Morgan caught at cover.
Jos Buttler (53 off 51 balls) looked the most comfortable while Ben Stokes (50 off 103 balls) played a painstaking knock as they added 83 for the fifth wicket before Kuldeep dismissed the two in quick succession.
Moeen Ali (24) and Adil Rashid (22) added a few quick runs to help England cross the 250-run mark.