Dhawan, Krishna star as India outclass England in First ODI


Pune – March 24 (Online): England squandered the chance to win a fluctuating first one-day international against India, losing by 66 runs in Pune.
Jonny Bairstow’s scintillating 94, from only 66 balls, had the world champions well on course for their target of 318.
India’s pace bowlers roared back, and an England side missing the rested Joe Root lost five wickets for 41 runs before eventually slumping to 251 all out.
The hosts had earlier been lifted to 317-5 by Shikhar Dhawan’s 98 and 58 not out from Krunal Pandya, whose 26-ball half-century was the fastest by a debutant in one-day internationals.
On a bruising day, England captain Eoin Morgan spent time off the field with split webbing on his right hand, while Sam Billings sprained his collarbone joint attempting a stop on the boundary.
Rohit Sharma was struck on the elbow by Mark Wood and, most seriously, new Lancashire signing Shreyas Iyer suffered a partial dislocation of his left shoulder.
The second in the three-match series is on the same ground on Friday.
On a true pitch, the classy Shikhar was strong square of the wicket, sharing 64 with Rohit and 105 with captain Virat Kohli, who was looking ominous in helping himself to 56.
Left-hander Shikhar also benefitted from two let-offs, the first a tough chance to a diving Roy at point on 16, the second a simple chance to Moeen on the leg-side boundary on 59.
As India were looking to accelerate, the pacey Mark Wood returned to have Kohli flick to deep square leg and Dhawan pulled to mid-wicket as part of Stokes’ 3-34 in his first ODI since the World Cup final.
Morgan had just left the field when Krunal, elder brother of Hardik, joined Rahul to begin a blur of the ball being flayed to all parts.
The swashbuckling left-hander carved over the off side and whipped off his pads, providing the catalyst for 112 runs to come from the last 9.3 overs.
Bairstow’s astonishing hitting was reminiscent of England’s bullying batting in the run-up to the 2019 World Cup win and threatened to make light of the chase.
Muscling the ball, primarily on the leg side, he laid waste to an India attack with seven sixes and six fours.
However, when Jason Roy was caught at point for 46 to end an opening stand of 135 after only 14.2 overs, England lost all fluency.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was miserly, while debutant Prasidh Krishna took four wickets and Shardul Thakur three.
Ben Stokes drove to cover, Bairstow holed out on the leg side, Morgan was bounced out and Jos Buttler was trapped on the crease to be lbw.
Moeen Ali, in only his second match of any kind since November, had endured a difficult day, dropping Dhawan and conceding 28 runs in his three overs.
He looked to be rescuing England with the bat, but when he edged Bhuvneshwar behind for 30, the tourists’ hopes went with him.