Pune: Virat Kohli’s era as India’s full-time captain across formats did not start on a bright note after England, who were put in to bat, did not let a damp Pune pitch dampen their spirits to amass 350 runs in the first of three ODIs here on Sunday.
Ben Stokes (62 off 40 balls) and Moeen Ali (28 off 16 balls) gave England a big push in the last ten overs after Jason Roy (73 off 61 balls) and Joe Root (78 off 95 balls) laid a perfect platform for the lower order to hammer India’s bowling.
While Jasprit Bumrah’s direct hit caught Alex Hales (9 off 18 balls) at unawares, Roy’s breezy innings kept England’s scoreboard ticking. The Roy-Root combo put up a 69-run partnership before the England opener was stumped off Ravindra Jadeja’s bowling. Skipper Eoin Morgan was next to get out (28 off 26 balls) as the Decision Review System helped Hardik Pandya get his first wicket in the match.
Pandya added one more wicket to his account after Jos Buttler (31 off 36 balls) was holed out in the deep. Root, who looked all set for a long haul, followed Buttler soon after Pandya, manning the long-on, kept his balance to take a neat catch off Bumrah’s bowling.
England were 244-5 from 41.4 overs when Root went back to the pavilion. India, though, failed to cash in on the chance to run through England’s lower middle order following a spate of no-balls and counter-attacking batsmanship from Stokes and Ali.
Although England’s off-spinning all-rounder did not waste a chance to hit it big, it was Stokes, who made merry at the expense of Indian bowlers. The southpaws smashed 73 runs in space of 5.3 overs as England marched towards 350-run mark...