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3 positives for India from the 1st ODI against England

India registered a 66-run win over England in the 1st ODI
India registered a 66-run win over England in the 1st ODI
Sai Krishna
SENIOR ANALYST
Modified 24 Mar 2021
Feature

India finally won the first match of a series when they vanquished England by 66 runs in the 1st ODI in Pune.

Previously, Virat Kohli's men had lost the first Tests of the series against Australia and England, as well as the T20I series opener against Eoin Morgan's side earlier this month. But a comprehensive all-round bowling performance and match-changing innings from key batsmen ensured that India are firmly in the driver's seat in the 3-match series.

The hosts will undoubtedly have a lot to take away from the convincing win. Here are the biggest 3 positives for India from the 1st ODI against England.


#3 Returns to form for key players

KL Rahul [C] scored a half-century in the first innings
KL Rahul [C] scored a half-century in the first innings

Coming into this game, India had a few selection dilemmas on their hands. And despite Rishabh Pant and Suryakumar Yadav impressing in the recent past, the team management decided to back the under-fire Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul.

Dhawan lost his place in the T20I side earlier this month, and Shubman Gill - who is touted by many as the future of Indian cricket - is eagerly waiting for an opportunity. But captain Virat Kohli claimed ahead of the 1st ODI that the southpaw's credentials in the format can't be questioned, and he was proved right.

Dhawan started off slowly, but switched gears as his innings wore on to make 98 off 106 balls with 11 fours and 2 sixes. The opener's experience will be even more crucial to the side for the remainder of this series, with Rohit Sharma expected to be treated with utmost caution by the management.

Rahul was another player who returned to form for India. Batting at No. 5, he used the extra time 50-over cricket provides to get his eye in. And once he did, he teed off. The 28-year-old finished on an unbeaten 62 off 43 balls - an innings that will do his confidence a world of good.

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#2 India's debutants had memorable outings in the 1st ODI

Krunal Pandya
Krunal Pandya's performance will be etched in every fan's mind

Ahead of the game, it was reported that India would hand two players their maiden ODI caps in the series opener. Krunal Pandya and Prasidh Krishna were the lucky players in question, and both of them made an immediate impact.

Krunal came in to bat after a middle-order collapse, and counter-attacked to perfection with Rahul playing a supporting role. He found the leg-side boundary on a regular basis, and took India to a par score with more clean hitting at the death. The left-arm spinner also chipped in with the wicket of Sam Curran, and recovered well after an initial pasting to register figures of 1/59 in his 10 overs.

Prasidh was also taken to the cleaners in the powerplay as he conceded 41 runs in the first 19 balls he bowled. He too made an admirable comeback, sending back Jason Roy, Ben Stokes, Sam Billings and Tom Curran to finish with the best figures by an Indian debutant in ODIs.

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Similar to Ishan Kishan and Suryakumar Yadav, Prasidh and Krunal showed great application on debut. This augurs very well for India, who can bank on quality players on the bench.


#1 India showed great spirit and grit

Kohli
Kohli's men weren't daunted by England's explosive opening partnership

Although India had the momentum heading into the innings break, they needed a strong bowling performance to defend 317 against a deep English batting lineup. The hosts got off to the worst possible start in the second innings, with Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow sending the ball to all corners of the ground.

England's 135-run opening partnership was broken in the 15th over, and India made regular inroads despite clearly being behind the eight ball. Prasidh, Shardul Thakur and Bhuvneshwar Kumar combined to take 9 wickets, bowling England out for just 251 in the 43rd over.

Even in the first innings, India recovered well after losing Virat Kohli, Shreyas Iyer, Shikhar Dhawan and Hardik Pandya in the space of 8 overs to post the total that they did. Kohli and his men will take heart from the grit they showed in the 1st ODI.


Published 24 Mar 2021, 09:00 IST
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