Former Indian skipper Sunil Gavaskar believes that Hardik Pandya is going to be crucial in the ongoing three-match One-day International series against England. Pandya has shown an upward swing in his improvement graph. Meanwhile, Pandya had done a fine job in the recently-held Twenty20 International series. In fact, he had scalped four wickets in the T20I decider after going for 22 runs in his first over. Furthermore, he had provided the finishing touches as he scored a quickfire 33 off just 14 balls. Hardik Pandya Hardik Pandya. Credits: AFP Thus, Gavaskar believes that Pandya will have a major role to play in the 50-over series. Meanwhile, as Pandya is India's fifth bowler, Virat Kohli will hope that he completes his quota of ten overs. Promising youngster Pandya can be expensive in his bowling, however, he has shown more control in the recent past. Meanwhile, the part-time spinner Suresh Raina can chip in with some crucial overs. Moreover, India will not have the services of Jasprit Bumrah which is going to leave a big void in the team alongside Bhuvneshwar Kumar for the opening ODI at the Trent Bridge. "Bumrah's absence will be felt for he combines brilliantly with Bhuvaneshwar at the top as well as at the end of the opposition innings. Pandya put his hand up and bagged four wickets to break the England momentum at Bristol and he will be crucial with both bat and ball," Gavaskar wrote in his TOI column. Sunil Gavaskar Sunil Gavaskar (Credits: Getty Images) The Little Master Gavaskar added that the form of Shikhar Dhawan is a concern for the Indian team. However, the southpaw opening batsman has had great success while playing in the English conditions in the 50-overs format. "In batting, the only concern is Shikhar Dhawan who didn't score many in the T20 series but he relishes the 50 over format". Furthermore, the legendary batsman Gavaskar penned down that India will face a tricky question of playing one or both spinners. Kohli had dropped Kuldeep Yadav in the third T20I decider against England. However, the chinaman returned to the final XI. "India too will be thinking whether to go with both Chahal and Kuldeep or just pick one spinner. Of course, if the weather stays bright and sunny, there's more chance for the spinners on a dry pitch to get the ball to grip and turn".
Hardik Pandya rates KL Rahul's knock as the best. Getty Images

Team India banked on a swashbuckling century from KL Rahul to go 1-0 up in the three-match Twenty20 Internationals series beating host England by eight wickets at the Old Trafford, Manchester.

Meanwhile, it was Kuldeep Yadav, who did the damage early on with the ball. He returned with five for 24 to single-handedly rattle Eglish innings. Furthermore, he claimed three wickets in one over to halt the free flow of runs.

Umesh Yadav also chipped in with two crucial wickets, as England managed to post 169 runs at the halfway mark. For England, Jos Buttler continued his rich form, as he played a patient knock of 69 runs to take his team over the 150-run mark.

However, in reply, India lost the early wicket of Shikhar Dhawan in the first over.

Since then, it was a one-person show from Rahul, who continued his rich form from IPL. He stood up to Virat Kohli’s decision to send him at one drop with a brilliant century.

ENG vs IND 2018, 1st T20I: Twitter Erupts as KL Rahul Hammers a Brilliant Century to Guide India Home

The Karnataka batsman was classy throughout playing his shots all around the park. He dominated the English attack, as they looked clueless in front of him.

Rahul played some glorious cover drives and also came down the track to lift it over the fielders.

Rahul played his shots while Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli played the secondary role. Furthermore, the stylish batsman struck ten boundaries and five sixes to bring his second T20I hundred, as India went 1-0 up in the series.

Here is how the Twitter reacted:

Also read: MS Dhoni breaks Kamran Akmal’s Stumping Record in T20Is

Ankush Das

I am an accountant by qualification, my parents thought their obedient son would study further to become a CA, but I had other things in mind. An ardent Cricket fan is following his passion and making a living watching and working around his favorite sport.