An attacking hundred from Man of the Match Jonny Bairstow and a game-changing 99 from Ben Stokes led England to a 6-wicket win in the 2nd ODI against India at the MCA Stadium in Pune. With the win, the visitors pulled level in the 3-match series, with the decider set to be played on Sunday.
Apart from Bairstow and Stokes, opener Jason Roy made a superb fifty while left-arm pacer Reece Topley was highly impressive with the ball. For India, Virat Kohli, Rishabh Pant and KL Rahul played stellar knocks, but the bowling department failed to deliver.
Many players put in good performances in the match, but quite a few disappointed. Here are 3 players who flopped in the 2nd ODI between India and England.
#3 Shikhar Dhawan (India)
Two days after his 98 won India the game and him the Man of the Match award, Shikhar Dhawan put in a painful performance of the exact opposite variety.
Faced with two left-arm seamers capable of swinging the ball away from him in Sam Curran and Reece Topley, Dhawan decided the best course of action would be to play out the new ball. He played 16 balls for just 4 runs, before scoreboard pressure forced him to play an expansive drive against Topley.
The resulting edge was safely pouched by Stokes at second slip, and Dhawan walked back having put his side in a highly compromising position. The southpaw's technique against the away-swinger has always been suspect, and performances like this only add fuel to the fire.
Dhawan will eye another match-winning innings in the 3rd ODI to make up for this failure.
#2 Jos Buttler (England)
Handed the reins of the side in the absence of regular captain Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler set out to lead England to a comeback in the series. While he achieved this objective, he had a dreadful game on a personal level.
Buttler's first mishap came in the form of a dropped catch off Adil Rashid's bowling, where he bizarrely closed his gloves before the edge off Virat Kohli's bat could make its way towards him. Although he hung on to a catch to send back the Indian captain off Rashid, matters worsened in the 48th over.
Reece Topley coaxed Hardik Pandya into a swat across the line, with the ball kissing the edge and coming to Buttler at a very comfortable height. The England keeper made a meal of the opportunity, going for it with one hand and failing to grab the rebound as well.
Having had a disastrous day in the field, the bat was Buttler's only chance at salvation. But he lasted all off 3 balls, with a yorker from Prasidh Krishna sending him back to the hut for a blob. England's stand-in captain will want to forget this game in a hurry and put in a good performance in the series decider, which will also not feature Morgan.
#1 Krunal Pandya (India)
All eyes were on Krunal Pandya in the 1st ODI, which was his first game for India in the format. He scored a game-changing fifty and bowled a decently economical spell while dismissing Sam Curran to command praise from all corners.
All eyes were on Krunal in this game as well, but for all the wrong reasons. Coming in with India needing quick runs, the southpaw struggled to find the boundary and scored 12 runs off 9 balls. But India had managed an above-par total, and he had a key role to play with the ball.
Krunal's day got exponentially worse in the second innings. The final Indian bowler to be introduced into the attack, the left-arm spinner dished out two freebies every over to be taken to the cleaners by Ben Stokes. He conceded 72 runs in 6 overs, and Kohli didn't have to worry about finishing his quota of overs because the game was already lost by then.
Krunal must be far more consistent with his lines and lengths in the 3rd and final ODI.