In the wake of Team India’s six-wicket defeat in Pune on Friday, experts had reckoned that the hosts did not go all out with the bat. However, according to Laxman, the Indian batsmen did their job by posting 336 and cannot be blamed for the loss.
The elegant right-hander told Star Sports in this regard:
“India usually follow a template to get a mammoth total, and I thought 336 was a very good total to make. You can’t blame the batsmen (for the loss). In fact, that partnership between KL Rahul and Virat Kohli helped India to post such a big total, as even though they were not hitting boundaries, there were singles and twos taken.”
Team India were sent into bat after losing the toss in the second ODI. After first-match batting hero Shikhar Dhawan perished early, the hosts recovered to put up an impressive 336 for 6 on the board.
KL Rahul (108) scored his fifth ODI hundred, while Rishabh Pant (70 off 44) and Virat Kohli (66 off 79) scored contrasting half-centuries. Hardik Pandya’s late cameo of 35 off 16 balls lifted the hosts to a competitive total.
England, though, made a mockery of the run chase, getting home in 43.3 overs with six wickets in hand. Jonny Bairstow scored 124 off 112, Ben Stokes blasted 99 off 52 (with ten sixes)m while Jason Roy chipped in with 55.
Team India played to their strengths: VVS Laxman
Despite the emphatic manner of Team India's defeat, VVS Laxman said that it would be wrong to compare the batting styles of the two teams, as both adopt different methods. He elaborated in this regard:
“The character of the England team and the approach of the Indian team are totally different because if you see the England approach since the 2015 World Cup, they have scored 300+ runs more than 42 times, and they go all out right from the word go. So I think every team will have their own approach, and India played to their strengths. They batted well, and I think it is the bowling that led India down” .
England’s batsmen were particularly severe on Team India's spinners. Kuldeep Yadav went for 84 runs in his ten overs, while Krunal Pandya, playing his second ODI, was hammered for 72 runs in just six.
The decider of the three-match ODI series will be played in Pune on Sunday, March 28.