Kuldeep's magic, Rohit's grace take India to victory

By PTI Published on Jul 13, 2018 08:27 PM IST

Nottingham, Jul 13 (PTI):

Chinaman Kuldeep Yadav bamboozled England batsmen with a mesmerizing spell before Rohit Sharma's sublime century saw India cruise to an eight-wicket victory in the first ODI against England here.

Kuldeep's career-best figures of 6 for 25 allowed England to only score a modest 268 on good batting conditions.

The chase was a stroll in the park for as the runs were knocked off in only 40.1 overs courtesy Rohit's (137 no off 114 balls). It was the opener's 18th ODI hundred, which was beautifully complemented by skipper Virat Kohli (75, 82 balls) as he struck his first 50 plus score of the tour. The Kohli-Rohit duo added 177 runs in 25.1 overs to seal the issue.

Once Kohli opted to field, the English script unfolded very much on similar lines with the T20 series, where things went downhill as soon as Kuldeep was introduced into the attack.

Kuldeep's brilliant figures of 10-0-25-6 was the best ever by any chinaman bowler in the history of ODIs. He bowled an astounding 38 dot balls and not once was he hit for a boundary. This was Kuldeep's first five-for in ODIs.

Speaking about the victory, skipper Virat Kohli said 'We knew it was a good wicket to play on. Those wrist spinners in the middle overs are going to be tricky. Given more overs and more time in the middle, they become even more lethal.'

Kohli also praised wrist spinning twins Kuldeep and Chahal along with Rohit for the victory. 'Kuldeep was outstanding. To give away 25 runs and pick up 6 wickets on that kind of a wicket, I don't think I have seen a better spell of bowling in ODIs of late. After that, Rohit batted very long to finish the game for us. These two wrist spinners have been making the difference since they have come in. They did it in South Africa in the middle overs and they remain as our key weapons,' he said.

On whether Kuldeep could find a place in the Test squad, the captain said 'Anything is possible with the selections for Tests and there might be a few surprises. Kuldeep is making a strong case for himself and so is Chahal. And looking at the way, the English batsmen have struggled against them, we might be tempted to do it. But the focus now is winning the next two games.'

Man of the match Kuldeep Yadav said 'For me, it is a big day. I started off well and luckily I got a couple of wickets in the first two overs. Initially, I thought there was a lot of turn and after the first over, I knew I was in the game. If you are bowling in the right areas and you are using the variations perfectly, then it is pretty hard for the batsman.' Kuldeep also said that he is hoping for a Test call-up.

'Playing spin against India is one challenge that hopefully we will keep improving upon. But today we were well off the mark. Kuldeep extracted more turn out of this than any other spinner. We need to improve as a side,' said England captain Eoin Morgan.

MATCH RECORDS

Most wins after 50 ODIs as captain:

39 C Lloyd/ R Ponting/ V KOHLI

37 H Cronje

36 V Richards

34 S Pollcok

33 Wasim Akram/ Waqar Younis

Rohit Sharma's 137 no is now the highest score by an Indian batsman vs England in England in ODIs. Previous best: 107 by Kohli, Cardiff, 2011.