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Jonny Bairstow’s brilliance in vain as Team India bowlers seal 66-run win 

Team India. Pic: BCCI
Team India. Pic: BCCI
Modified 23 Mar 2021

A sensational 66-ball 94 from Jonny Bairstow was not enough to help England chase down a 318-run target in the first ODI in Pune. The visitors were bowled out for 251 as they go 0-1 down in the three-match series against India.

Earlier, India’s total of 317 for 5 was built around an excellent all-round effort with the bat. Shikhar Dhawan top-scored with 98, while Krunal Pandya registered the fastest fifty on ODI debut. Virat Kohli (56) and KL Rahul (62*) also chipped in with half-centuries. Debutant Prasidh Krishna (4 for 54) then recovered from a hammering to play a stellar role in India's win.

England zoomed away in their chase of 318, as openers Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy added 135 in 14.2 overs. Jonny Bairstow dominated the partnership, clearing the field with consummate ease.

Like India, England had also got off to a slow start. They were 24 without loss after five overs. However, Jonny Bairstow then launched into debutant pacer Prasidh Krishna.

The inexperience of the youngster showed as he gave room to the England opener to open his arms. Jonny Bairstow clobbered him for two sixes and as many fours as 22 came off the over. Jonny Bairstow did not look back after that.

Jonny Bairstow. Pic: BCCI
Jonny Bairstow. Pic: BCCI

At the other end, Roy found Krunal Pandya’s left-arm spin too friendly, slapping the debutant for two fours and a six. In Shardul Thakur’s second over, Jonny Bairstow dispatched him over square leg for a maximum and then guided a full ball down the ground for four.

When Virat Kohli turned to Kuldeep Yadav, Jonny Bairstow brought up his fifty by pulling a short ball to deep square leg. The next ball was sent soaring over the deep midwicket boundary for another six.

With the pitch offering nothing to the spinners, Jonny Bairstow helped himself to two more maximums in Krunal Pandya’s next over. The dangerous partnership was finally broken by debutant Krishna when Roy, on 46, guided the bowler into the hands of Suryakumar Yadav at point, where the fielder took a juggling catch.

Another big wicket followed as Ben Stokes (1) chipped Krishna straight to extra-cover. Krishna could have had a third, but Kohli dropped his opposite number at slip. He took the catch, but the ball popped out as he hit the turf, and Eoin Morgan heaved a huge sigh of relief.


At the other end, Jonny Bairstow seemed set for a blistering hundred. However, he perished for 94 off 66 while going for the glory shot. The golden arm of Thakur again did the trick as Jonny Bairstow holed out to deep midwicket, attempting a pull.

Thakur then bounced out Morgan for 22 as the England skipper edged a pull behind the stumps. The medium-pacer made it two in the over when Jos Buttler (2) was trapped leg before with one that darted back in. From 135 for no loss, England suddenly found themselves at 176 for 5.

The visitors continued to crumble as Sam Billings (18) scooped an easy catch to short cover to give Krishna his third of the night. Moeen Ali kept England’s dwindling hopes alive with a defiant 30. But Bhuvneshwar Kumar ended his resistance by getting one to bounce and move away.


Krunal Pandya joined the party, getting his maiden ODI wicket, as Sam Curran (12) perished trying to take on the left-arm spinner. Krishna, deservingly, sealed the win for India, having Tom Curran caught for 11 to end with 4 for 54. Thakur claimed three, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar chipped in with a couple as Jonny Bairstow's brilliance was relegated to the background.

Team India’s combined batting effort trumps Jonny Bairstow’s solo act

A well-compiled 98 from Shikhar Dhawan and an incredible record fifty by debutant Krunal Pandya helped India put up an impressive 317 for 5, batting first. Dhawan and Indian captain Kohli (56 off 60) featured in a second-wicket stand of 105.

At 169 for 1, India looked good for a big total. However, Kohli’s dismissal for 56 against the run of play brought England back into the match. Shreyas Iyer (6) perished cheaply, and Dhawan (98) missed out on a hundred as India faltered. The wicket of Hardik Pandya, for one, left the hosts at 205 for 5 and in danger of posting an underwhelming total.

Rahul and Krunal Pandya, however, rescued India with a scintillating stand. The duo added 112 runs in just 9.3 overs as England’s bowlers were clobbered all over the park. Krunal Pandya finished unbeaten on 58 off 31, while Rahul was not out on 62 off 43

Krunal Pandya smashed Sam Curran for three fours in an over early in his innings and never looked back. He whacked Tom Curran for a six over square leg. In the 48th over bowled by Mark Wood, Krunal Pandya and KL Rahul plundered 21 runs, with both batsmen clearing the fence once apiece.


Krunal Pandya got to his fifty off 26, the quickest by a debutant in ODIs, and remembered his father by pointing his bat towards the heavens. Rahul’s innings wasn’t quite as dramatic as he got to his fifty off 39 balls. He did hit four sixes in his innings, though.

Earlier in the day, Dhawan capitalised on two drops to come up with a fine knock. After India got off to a slow start - 15 for no loss after five overs - Dhawan swung into action by cutting and driving Mark Wood for consecutive boundaries in the seventh over.

Sharma perished for 28, edging a short and wide delivery from Stokes to slip. Dhawan and Kohli then took over. The left-hander brought up his fifty by slog-sweeping Rashid for a six.

Both the batsmen were extremely severe on the English spinners. After dropping Dhawan, Moeen Ali was clobbered for a six over extra cover and a four past fine leg after a misfield had given India a four.

Kohli fell after crossing his fifty, whipping Wood straight to deep square leg. Shreyas Iyer (6), Dhawan and Hardik Pandya all fell in quick succession as England hit back hard. However, the Rahul - Krunal partnership then lifted India to a good total.

When Jonny Bairstow was going all guns blazing, the total seemed inadequate. But once he was dismissed, it proved to be more than enough, as Jonny Bairstow eventually ended up on the losing side.

Published 23 Mar 2021, 22:09 IST
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