A six-wicket haul by left-arm chinaman spinner Kuldeep Yadav and a century from Rohit Sharma set up an easy eight-wicket victory for India in the first of three ODIs against England.
Chasing 269 for victory in Nottingham, India cruised home with 10 overs to spare, setting the scene for a white ball double, after winning the T20 series 2-1.
Kuldeep snared six for 25 off his 10 overs, which made the task of the Indian batsmen considerably easier. Sharma ended with a brilliant, measured 137 off 114 balls, with 15 fours and four sixes, and KL Rahul with nine.
Shikhar Dhawan had fallen to Moeen Ali with the score on 59 after eight overs, but India was never pressed. Virat Kohli went for a leisurely 75 off 82 (seven fours) after 33 overs with 42 required.
Kohli has supreme confidence in his batsmen when chasing a total; as does Eoin Morgan, but he wasn’t given the choice at the toss.
Nevertheless, England did well to post 73 for the first wicket in 10 overs, a partnership enhanced by the fact that Kohli declined to review an lbw appeal on Jonny Bairstow in the first over.
‘We are not worried. Not really about England’s batting,’ said Kohli. ‘We back ourselves to bowl first and let the opposition put a score on the board. We have to continue the pattern we have followed.’
But after that impressive start, England was reeled in, starting with a rash reverse sweep by Jason Roy when on 38 off the spin of Kuldeep. Joe Root, promoted up the order, failed to make an impression, and Bairstow followed soon after on 38, leaving England in trouble at 82-3 after 12 overs.
Despite fifties from Ben Stokes – a painful 50 off 102 balls – and Jos Buttler (53), both fell to Kuldeep, as England were never able to get on top of the bowling. After 50 overs, the run-rate was just 5.4; nowhere near enough.
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