Man of the Match: The Indian batsman’s mature innings played a crucial role in their 66-run comprehensive victory in Pune.
During the first ODI of the ongoing England’s tour of India in Pune, India beat England by 66 runs to go 1-0 up in the three-match series.
Chasing a 318-run target, England were bundled out for 251 in 42.1 overs. Despite a quickfire 135-run opening stand between Jason Roy (46) and Jonny Bairstow (94), the visitors couldn’t build on the substantial initial advantage as their attacking approach backfired today.
Debutant pacer Prasidh Krishna, who broke the potentially game-changing partnership by dismissing Roy in his second spell, went on to become the pick of the Indian bowlers with bowling figures of 8.1-1-54-4.
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) March 23, 2021
Having leaked 37 runs in his first three overs in international cricket, Krishna stitched a commendable comeback on a personal front. Apart from him, Shardul Thakur and Bhuvneshwar Kumar also contributed in the bowling department by dismissing three and two batsmen respectively.
Who won the Man of the Match award tonight?
In the first innings, it was England captain Eoin Morgan who had continued his trend of winning the toss and electing to field. On the back of individual half-centuries from opening batsman Shikhar Dhawan (98), wicket-keeper batsman Lokesh Rahul (62 not out), Krunal Pandya (58 not out) and captain Virat Kohli (56), the hosts put on board a dominating 317/5 in 50 overs.
Opening the batting with vice-captain Rohit Sharma (28), Dhawan didn’t hesitate from giving English bowlers the respect they deserved with the new ball. However, what followed was Dhawan sharing a 105-run opening partnership with captain Kohli to dictate terms against the English bowling unit.
Upon getting his eye in, Dhawan reaped the rewards of his persistence to not just top score for his team but also win the ‘Man of the Match’ award for the 10th time in his ODI career.
“Very happy with the performance. Great comeback. Really enjoyed it. I was putting all my efforts in the process. Was doing good gym, running, net sessions whenever possible. Eventually my smart work paid off.” Dhawan told Star Sports during the post-match presentation ceremony.