Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar has questioned the batting approach adopted by the Indian batsmen against England off-spinner Moeen Ali during their 6-wicket loss against the visitors in the second ODI in Pune.
India's mammoth 337-run target proved far from enough against a strong English batting line-up as Jonny Bairstow (124 off 112 balls) and Ben Stokes (99 off 52 balls) made a mockery of the steep chase with their 175-run assault on the hapless Indian bowlers.
The duo were especially harsh on India's left-arm spinning pair of Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya. While Chinaman Kuldeep went for 84 runs in his ten wicketless overs, the orthodox Krunal did not even finish his full quota of overs and was bludgeoned for 72 runs in the six overs he bowled.
Taking to social media after witnessing England's 'no mercy' attitude towards India's spinners on a flat pitch, Sanjay Manjrekar was of the opinion that the hosts missed a trick by not dishing out the same treatment to the off-spin bowling of Moeen Ali while setting the target.
After being put in to bat by England's stand-in skipper Jos Buttler, India posted what seemed like a good score (336/6), riding on KL Rahul's fifth ODI ton (108 off 114 balls) and half-centuries from Virat Kohli (66 off 79 balls) and Rishabh Pant (77 off 40 balls).
But seeing as England strolled to the target with 39 balls to spare, Indian batsmen would certainly be kicking themselves for not taking more risks against Moeen Ali and only scoring at 4.7 runs per over against him.
Lesson learnt for India: Sanjay Manjrekar
Sanjay Manjrekar, who played 37 Tests and 74 ODIs for India, put out another tweet stating that the defeat was an important lesson for Virat and co., and they would do well to take into account the quality of opposition's batting while setting a target in the upcoming matches.
"Quality of opposition’s batting an important consideration when assessing par score along with pitch and ground conditions. Lesson learnt for India tonight," said Sanjay Manjrekar.
With the series all square, India will be looking to leave this crushing loss behind and get back to winning ways in the third and final ODI starting on Sunday, 28th March.