It’s been over a year since the Lord’s cricket ground has hosted a ODI, and what better occasion to do it with the world’s top two nations fighting it out for supremacy. England had their colours lowered in the first match of the series yesterday as India proved to be the better side, running away with a comprehensive eight wicket victory ending the home team’s hot-streak in fifty over cricket.
It looked like yet another victory was on the cards for England after openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow posted a 73-run partnership for the first wicket, what was to follow couldn’t have been scripted… A sense of déjà vu was in the air amongst the English camp, only this time it wasn’t the Australians struggling profusely to survive against the spinners. After such a good start, England were brought unravelled by Indian wristspinner Kuldeep Yadav who stole the show bagging 6/25 and brining the home side’s innings to a premature end. India chased down the runs required in 40.1 overs, and that was the end of that. The runs weren’t exactly free-flowing at the top of the order, but compared to the rest of the batting line-up Roy and Bairstow were two diamonds in the rough. It’s hard to ignore Joe Root’s wavering form in recent times, for such a classy batsman he’s been finding it difficult to stand up alongside the likes of Roy, Bairstow and Buttler who have been getting the job done. In fact, Root’s last decent innings was against the Aussies in the first ODI at The Oval back in early June, since then he’s averaged just 14.42. Having been dropped from the T20I side to play India, it’s almost as if Root’s batting style didn’t suit this power-packed batting order England has established. Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler were forced to knuckle down and avoid their natural instinct to attack, an indication of just how damaging Kuldeep was. Following the trend of the batting, England leaked costly runs as Mark Wood and Moeen Ali were viciously targeted by the Indian batsmen. Leggy Adil Rashid continues to show his class with the ball after dismissing Kohli with an absolute gem, unfortunately the match was long gone by that time. It was a combination of bad shot selection and second guessing themselves that cost England the game, they’ll need to assert themselves against the spinners at Lord’s to far better affect second time around.
India has made this series a whole lot more interesting after taking the points in Nottingham, not only have they pushed England onto the back foot, they’ve built a solid platform to go on and win the series. Kuldeep Yadav headlined the win with a whopping six-wicket haul; I haven’t seen a spinner that dominant in white ball cricket on English soil since, well since forever! That’s easily the best ODI spin bowling performance in England to date, India will be ecstatic that their continuous tactic to play dual spinners has done the trick against a red-hot batting unit on unfamiliar territory as well. They’ve now planted a seed of doubt into England’s mind on how to counteract their slow bowling, They even had trouble scoring against part-timer Suresh Raina which must have given Virat Kohli a healthy smirk. It’s uncertain as to whether Bhuvneshwar Kumar will feature in India’s XI at Lord’s due to back related issues. It won’t worry India for the time being, their batting line-up looks in tremendous touch with Rohit Sharma scoring his second century of the tour already and Virat Kohli having no troubles during his innings of 75 at Trent Bridge either. Shikhar Dhawan’s form was always going to be a minor concern, but credit to him he’s silenced the critics with a rapid fire 40 alongside Rohit at the top of the order. With KL Rahul, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni yet to be tested at the crease, India currently sit in a commanding position heading into tomorrow’s match on a surface that should favour the stroke makers. Some Indian media personalities and past players were of the opinion that Dinesh Karthik deserved a spot in the side ahead of Suresh Raina, an unlikely scenario now given his all-round ability in the team which Kohli elected to use at Trent Bridge to great effect. Rohit’s unbeaten 137 and Kuldeep’s match-winning 6/25 with the ball has laid the platform for what could potentially be a very successful series for the Indians.
Top 5 fantasy picks | England | 2nd ODI | Lord’s, London
- Jonny Bairstow
- Jos Buttler
- Adil Rashid
- Joe Root
- Ben Stokes
Wildcard pick – Moeen Ali
Top 5 fantasy picks | India | 2nd ODI | Lord’s, London
- Kuldeep Yadav
- Virat Kohli
- KL Rahul
- Yuzvendra Chahal
- Hardik Pandya
Wildcard pick – Shikhar Dhawan
England (possible) – 1. Jason Roy 2. Jonny Bairstow 3. Joe Root 4. Eoin Morgan © 5. Ben Stokes 6. Jos Buttler (wk) 7. Moeen Ali 8. David Willey 9. Liam Plunkett 10. Adil Rashid 11. Mark Wood/Tom Curran/Jake Ball.
India (possible) – 1. Rohit Sharma 2. Shikhar Dhawan 3. Virat Kohli © 4. KL Rahul 5. Suresh Raina 6. MS Dhoni (wk) 7. Hardik Pandya 8. Bhuvneshwar Kumar/Siddarth Kaul 9. Kuldeep Yadav 10. Umesh Yadav 11. Yuzvendra Chahal.