Unlike their middling returns in the shortest format of the game, England would have anticipated a better showing when the action switched to a format which has provided them plenty of comfort in recent times. However, an all too familiar script ensued as they were left ravaged by their age-old nemesis of wrist-spin during the opening ODI at Trent Bridge.
The hosts lost the toss at the notoriously high-scoring venue and were predictably asked to set a target by Virat Kohli's Indian team. Despite a promising start on the docile surface, England unravelled in spectacular fashion against the exotic Kuldeep Yadav.
Akin to his remarkable performance in the tour opener at Manchester, Kuldeep's deceptive flight rendered England's much vaunted batting lineup impotent at Nottingham too. The left-armer's first spell comprised the scalps of Jason Roy, Joe Root and Jonny Bairstow in the space of successive overs.
Kuldeep strikes at England's heart
Powered by Roy and Bairstow, England began encouragingly against Umesh Yadav's raw pace and the rather harmless seam of Siddarth Kaul. Notwithstanding Bairstow's lucky reprieve off Umesh, the hosts' first real threat came when Kohli introduced Yuzvendra Chahal into the attack as early as during the ninth over.
At the end of ten overs, England were comfortably perched at 71/0. Not surprisingly, Kohli unleashed his trump card as soon as the mandatory Power Play was complete. Roy's scrambled mindset was on full view as he resorted to the sweep off Kuldeep's very first delivery. The hard-hitting opener paid the price in the ensuing ball when a misguided reverse-sweep lobbed tamely to cover.
The Yorkshire combine of Bairstow and Root found themselves under enormous pressure. Their hesitancy was evident against the wiles of Kuldeep. England's Test captain played back when he would have been better served coming forward. His failure to read the wrist-spinner off his hand culminated in a straightforward leg-before decision.
Skipper Eoin Morgan moved off strike at his first possible opportunity. Bairstow responded by getting on the front foot. Despite the signs being more Manchester than Cardiff, the right-hander's penchant for lunging at the ball resulted in his own downfall. The angle of the googly failed to convince the umpire to raise his finger. But the Decision Review System did.
The core of England's batting lineup was torn apart in a manic spell of eleven Kuldeep deliveries. Even though Stokes and Morgan nervously kept him at bay for his next two overs, the wrist spinner's figures at the end of his first spell read 4-0-9-3. The chinaman exponent eventually completed with a career-best haul of 6/25 and ensured that India never really relinquished their stranglehold on the game.Published 12 Jul 2018, 23:54 IST