Sweet taste of victory delights Kohli

By Sports Desk March 23, 2021

Virat Kohli hailed "one of our sweetest victories" after India fought hard to overcome England by 66 runs in the opening ODI in Pune.

Man-of-the-match Shikhar Dhawan laid a solid foundation for India with an assured 98, missing out on three figures when he miscued a pull off Ben Stokes to Eoin Morgan at midwicket.

Kohli made a similarly fluent half-century but the hosts had stumbled to 202-5 when debutant Krunal Pandya joined KL Rahul in the 41st over.

Krunal (58 not out) laid waste to an otherwise impressive England bowling performance, his 26-ball fifty the fastest ever in a maiden ODI, while wicketkeeper Rahul similarly impressed with an unbeaten 62 as India posted 317-5.

England threatened to make short work of that total as Jonny Bairstow (94) and Jason Roy (46) motored to 135 without loss inside 15 overs, before India's seamers turned the contest on its head.

Prasidh Krishna, also on debut, was the pick with 4-54, while Shardul Thakur's 3-37 accounted for the dangerous trio of Bairstow, Morgan (22) and Jos Buttler (2), and the excellent Bhuvneshwar Kumar took 2-30.

"That's one of our sweetest victories in the recent past. We haven't won many good games in ODIs," India skipper Kohli said at the post-match presentation.

"It was a great comeback from all our bowlers after going for few runs early on. Prasidh was amazing, Krunal as well. Shardul, Bhuvi were amazing. I am a really proud man right now.

"The team showed great character and intensity. As I've mentioned in the past as well, we promote players who have intent and back their skills.

"A special mention to Shikhar's innings as well and KL was back among the runs. We want to back people who will do a selfless job.

"It's a healthy competition between everyone for every slot. We have two or three players available for every slot."

Perhaps not to quite the same extent, but world champions England have their own enviable depth of talent.

Nevertheless, the steadying hand of Joe Root at number three, where Stokes stepped up to be dismissed for one, and Jofra Archer's death bowling were certainly missed as both players undertake a period of rest.

As in the recent 3-2 reverse in the T20I series, captain Morgan was left to rue middle-order failings, with the plummet form 135-0 to 176-5 key in England's challenge fading to 251 all out with 47 deliveries unused.

Nevertheless, he stood by the aggressive approach that has brought his side so much recent success.

"I thought the bowlers were outstanding and there was a bit more on offer for their seamers," he said.

"The two openers were outstanding, but we failed to build on from that. We need to execute better than we did. India did really well and deserved to win.

"Being able to take the attack to the opposition is something that we pride ourselves on. We want to continue to push the envelope in that regard. It's better for us to lose like this than losing by 20 runs.

"The game is always moving forward, technology and fitness are moving forward, so we need to push hard as we can. It's important for us to dictate the way we play."

Related items

  • 'Some players have ruled themselves out' -  Butcher believes some criticism for WI selection panel unwarranted 'Some players have ruled themselves out' - Butcher believes some criticism for WI selection panel unwarranted

    Former Barbadian-born Test batsman, Roland Butcher, does not believe the Cricket West Indies (CWI) panel of selectors deserves all the vitriol that it has received following its announcement of the West Indies T20 squad for the World Cup.

    The decisions to include Chris Gayle, omit Jason Holder from the final 15, and the inclusion of veteran fast bowler Ravi Rampaul have been among those that have drawn criticism.  Others have called for the inclusion of players that put in strong performances in the recently concluded CPL, which includes the likes of Sherfane Rutherford and Odean Smith.

    Butcher, who has himself sat on a selection panel for Barbados, has insisted some of the picks were understandable and insists that in fact, some players left themselves out of contention and does not see why the panel should bear that burden.

    “In terms of the selection, Jason holder really should have been selected, because he may not have done well of late but he is a proven player if we use him correctly.  I think Jason is someone you use to bowl four overs there and then, let him bat later on the game, and he is also a good fielder,” Butcher told the Mason and Guest radio program.

    “In terms of the guys who didn’t make it, everyone is shouting and screaming that Rutherford should have made it.  People forget that Rutherford has played for the West Indies for some time and he has a poor average in actual fact,” he added

    “…Roger Harper didn’t say it, but if you notice Rutherford for the last few years has not played for Guyana, except for the white ball competition, that is because he has refused to take a fitness test and that is obviously why he was not selected because he was dropped before, and the caseis obviously still the same.  Why are selectors being crucified for leaving him out, by his actions he has made himself unavailable for selection.”

    Butcher also did not agree with the criticism of the bowling selection as he is confident that both Rampaul and Chase can contribute meaningfully to the team.

    “Roston Chase upset the applecart because no one was looking for him to perform the way he did, by doing that he forced his way into the side.  In terms of Oshane Thomas and Rampaul, Fidel Edwards really caused them to have a problem because he was picked for the 15 matches but unfortunately got injured and was able to show his best,” he said.

      “In Rampaul’s case he is proven at the international level and I can see why they have gone for him in the current crop of fast bowlers and Thomas, we’ve seen his inconsistency, but Smith is one for the future.”

     

  • Matthew Nandu's 80 leads West Indies U19s to 17-run victory over England Young Lions Matthew Nandu's 80 leads West Indies U19s to 17-run victory over England Young Lions

    A patient half-century from Matthew Nandu and a four-wicket haul by Vasant Singh helped steer West Indies U19s to a 17-run win over England Young Lions in the final ODI between the teams that was played at Canterbury on Friday. The victory means the Caribbean youngsters lost the series 4-2 but ended it on a high.

    After winning the toss and electing to bat, West Indies scored 230 all out from their 50 overs thanks to Nandu, who was the top scorer with 80 from 120 balls faced. He struck nine fours. He lost his opening partner Anderson Amurdan, who failed to score and then Teddy Bishop for 12 as the West Indies got off to a poor start at 25-2.

    However, Nandu and Ackeem Auguste mounted a recovery with a stand of 78 before the latter was dismissed by Rehan Ahmed for 25.

    The loss of two additional wickets – Justin Beckford and Giovonte Depeiza - for just four runs saw the West Indies slip from 103-2 to 107-5 and in danger of collapsing. However, Nandu and Carlon Bowen-Tuckett staged another recovery with a 55-run sixth-wicket partnership that was broken when he was dismissed by Sonny Baker.

    Tuckett and Johan Layne (16) put on 25 for the seventh wicket and then 19 more with Isai Thorne (6) before being ninth out for a well-played 48 from 94 balls faced.

    Baker finished with 4-41 and Ahmed 3-30. Nathan Bramwell took 2-37.

    Needing 231 for a fifth victory in the series, England Young Lions enjoyed a solid start between George Thomas and James Rew. The pair had put on 52 when Nandu bowled Rew for 28. At 64-1, Singh dismissed Alex Horton for 10 and then 27 runs later had Thomas stumped for 38 as England reached 91 for 3 in the 20th over.

    England slipped further to 105-5 as Layne dismissed Daniel Ibrahim for 6 and Singh picked up his third wicket when he removed James Coles for 9.

    However, Ahmed’s obdurate unbeaten 68 kept England in the hunt but they kept losing wickets at the other end as Nandu dismissed Thomas Aspinwall for 1 and Singh removed Fateh Singh for 13 as England reached 165-8 in over number 38.

    Andel Gordon dismissed Barnwell for 1 and then ran out Baker for 3 as the West Indies closed out the match with their pride intact.

    Singh returned figures of 4-51 while Nando had figures of 2-35.

  • Windies Women lose to South Africa by 35 runs despite rookie Rashada Williams' 42 Windies Women lose to South Africa by 35 runs despite rookie Rashada Williams' 42

    Opening batter Rashada Williams unveiled a wide range of shots in a determined knock for West Indies Women but the home side could not stave off defeat against South Africa Women on Thursday.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.