Indian captain Virat Kohli scored a crucial half-century as his side amassed a formidable total; however, India ended up on the losing side in the second ODI against England in Pune. The whirlwind partnership between Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes was the bedrock of England’s successful chase, eventually winning by six wickets. Virat Kohli admired the batting efforts of his side but admitted that England were too good for them today.
England’s stand-in captain Jos Buttler won the toss and sent India to bat. The visitors were without Eoin Morgan, Sam Billings, and Mark Wood, with Liam Livingstone making his debut. India swapped Rishabh Pant for Shreyas Iyer as the latter made a compelling contribution in raising the home side’s tempo. KL Rahul followed his half-century from the last match to reach three figures, while Pant hammered 77 off 40 deliveries. Hardik Pandya’s onslaught towards the end was just as vital to help India to a formidable total.
While England started steadily as Jason Roy found it challenging to get going against Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s testing line and lengths, his partnership with Jonny Bairstow restored stability. Jason Roy fell as the tourists racked up another century-opening stand. Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow kept it going and refused to throw it away, unlike the first ODI. Their partnership of 175 put England firmly in control. Even though there was a minor wobble, including Jos Buttler departing for a duck, Liam Livingstone and Dawid Malan ensured England romped home with more than six overs to spare.
You could say the wicket settles down a bit under lights but that’s no excuse: Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli felt that it was a decent total; however, he credited England for surviving the nervous moments with the new ball and stitching a century partnership. The Indian captain said that England paced their chase brilliantly and handled the pressure well to pursue a monster score, mainly during the stand between Jonny Bairstow and Ben Stokes. Virat Kohli also refused to use the wicket easing up under lights as an excuse and admitted they did not bowl that well.
The 32-year old further said that, unlike the previous game, England did not give them any chance of coming back in the match. On not bowling Hardik Pandya, Virat Kohli said that they need to manage his workload since he would be a crucial part of the World Cup this year. He went on to credit the partnership between him and KL Rahul before Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya finished it well.
“I think we set quite a decent total on the board. It was going to be challenging if we stayed in the game for long periods. I think we started off really well with the new ball but still England found a way to get a 100 run partnership. We didn’t execute too well but I thought they batted brilliantly tonight. It was some of the most amazing batting you’ll see when chasing. They totally blew us away during that partnership of Jonny and Ben Stokes. We didn’t even have a chance during that partnership. I don’t think the dew played any role at all. The ball wasn’t difficult to hold. You could say the wicket settles down a bit under lights but that’s no excuse.
When two of the best teams in the world collide, one of them is going to win convincingly. Last time we came back. This time England didn’t give us anything at all. It’s quite rare that if you play with that strike rate and give no chances. It shows the quality of batting. We need to manage his body as well going forward. We need to understand where we need his skillsets with the ball alongwith his batting. We used him in the T20Is but it’s a bit of workload management as well. We want to ensure we have Hardik Pandya fit and strong, because he’s going to be an important part of the squad,” Virat Kohli told during the post-match presentation.