England vs India 2018: Jos Buttler's dismissal is SK Turning Point of 1st ODI
Arriving at the crease on the back of usually solid platforms, his recent ODI pyrotechnics may have left us in sheer disbelief. When Jos Buttler walked out at Trent Bridge during the series opener, England were wobbling at 105/4. Albeit briefly, the dynamic right-hander reiterated the premise for his burgeoning reputation in the modern white-ball game.
Even as the typically aggressive Ben Stokes laboured to the most painstaking performance of his career thus far, Buttler effortlessly hammered a 51-ball 53 against a fired-up bowling unit at Nottingham. Who else apart from Kuldeep Yadav to cut his sojourn short. In what was a pivotal moment in the match, India's best bowler removed England's best batsman.
Kuldeep's dismissal of Buttler in the 39th over halted a relatively productive partnership for England. The utmost ease with which India sauntered to their eight-wicket victory might have suggested otherwise. But there's no doubting that the wrist-spinner's vital scalp cleared the route for the visitors' dominance.
Boisterous Buttler and shackled Stokes plot England rescue
Reduced to rubble by Kuldeep's penetrative first spell, England badly needed the middle-order to resurrect their fortunes in the game. Skipper Virat Kohli's decision to take the chinaman bowler out of the attack was quite baffling. But Yuzvendra Chahal maintained India's momentum by removing Eoin Morgan.
With Hardik Pandya's hit-the-deck approach offering some much needed respite from spin, Stokes and Buttler attempted to revive the innings. The left-hander looked completely out of depth against Chahal's inward leg-spin.
On the other hand, Buttler relied on subtle feet movement to take the attack to Chahal. He smartly bided his time when confronted with the irrepressible threat of Kuldeep. Possessing contrasting scoring-rates, the pair hauled England to a decent position of 195/4 at the end of the 38th over.
Kuldeep delivers the killer blow
Notwithstanding the late fightback from the hosts, India still held the aces. Three more overs of Kuldeep remained at Kohli's disposal. Into his third spell, the 23-year old once again left England in the quagmire.
Upon toying with the lackluster Stokes, Kuldeep prised out the prized scalp of Buttler. The in-form right-hander failed to account for the sharp fizz from the surface and edged one turning into him down the leg-side.
The indecisiveness in his footwork cost Buttler this time around. As he has often done in his memorable journey, MS Dhoni made a difficult catch appear straightforward. This wicket was as much the wicketkeeper's as the bowler's.
Kuldeep picked up a couple more victims in the final over of his spell. He finished with astonishing figures of 6/25 and singlehandedly routed England to a feeble total. The target of 269 hardly posed any sort of challenge to India's formidable top-order.
Led by Rohit Sharma's unbeaten century, the visitors surged to a comprehensive triumph. Meanwhile, Eoin Morgan's men were left wondering if the chinaman challenge could go on to effectively derail their white-ball resurgence.