KENNINGTON: Following his side’s crushing ten-wicket defeat to India in the first ODI, England white-ball captain Jos Buttler lauded the Men in Blue for exploiting the conditions at The Oval well.
A match-winning spell of 6/19 and Rohit Sharma’s half-century helped India gain a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series against England after a ten-wicket win in the first ODI. Put to bat first, England could post only 110 runs on the board as pacers Jasprit Bumrah (6/19) and Mohammed Shami (3/31) destroyed their batting attack. Jos Buttler (30) and David Willey (21) were the only ones who could deliver notable contributions.
A Chase of 111 runs was a cakewalk for India as the opening duo of Rohit Sharma (76*) and Shikhar Dhawan (31*) never gave the English team a chance to uproot them from the crease and took India to the finishing line with more than 32 overs to spare by ten wickets.
“We would have wanted to bowl as well had we won the toss. I did not see it being a big toss, the way it looks now. But credit to them (Indian team) for exposing the conditions well. It (conditions) did more than we expected since we come here for the fantastic batting wicket, there have been some high-scoring games here. There was certainly more movement today than what we had seen earlier,” said Buttler in a press conference.
The English captain described the loss as “tough to take”. “Some big guns were coming after playing Test cricket, in form of their lives. It was not easy out there. But we must look and think there is way to manage better and not to lose as many wickets in the start,” he added.
Buttler lauded Indian pacer Jasprit Bumrah, calling him as “fantastic”. “He has been the leading bowler in the world for a number of years now. He is going from strength to strength. That is the challenge of playing against India, you are going to face some fantastic batters and bowlers. That is why you play international cricket, to challenge yourself against the best. We will try to get better of him (Bumrah),” he added.
Buttler said that there is no need to panic after England’s shambolic show with the bat in the first ODI, since batting has been consistently their strength for the past five to six years. “We are trying to learn from it, but we will stick to what we know. There is a huge trust in that dressing room,” he added.
Coming to the match, chasing 111, Team India started off on a decent note with the opening pair of Rohit and Dhawan steadily taking the innings forward. The duo scored 21 runs in six overs, before bringing the momentum in the game and smashing 35 runs in the next four overs.
The Men in Blue crossed the 50-run mark in 10 overs with both the batters standing unbeaten at the crease. Continuing the proceedings at a steady rate, Rohit brought up his half-century in 49 balls and helped Team India reach the 100-run mark in 18 overs.
With only 11 runs left to win, the duo smashed 13 runs in the next four balls and brought Team India to a 10-wicket victory in just mere 18.4 overs and gained a 1-0 lead in the three-match ODI series against England.
Earlier, opting to bowl first, Indian bowlers proved their captain Rohit Sharma’s decision right as Bumrah wreaked havoc on England batters in the powerplay.
England’s opening batter Jason Roy was sent back to the pavilion on a golden duck. Roy’s wicket was quickly followed by Joe Root, who was fell prey to Bumrah without scoring a run. Ben Stokes then came to bat, but could not stand long as he was dismissed by Mohammed Shami without opening his account.
At that point opening batter, Jonny Bairstow tried to anchor innings. His inning was cut short by the fiery bowling of Bumrah, who departed Bairstow on seven runs. Captain Jos Buttler stood on the crease like the only hope for the Three Lions. Liam Livingstone the hard-hitting batter of the team was dismissed for a duck by Bumrah.
England’s top order tumbling on a grassy pitch at The Oval. Jason Roy, Joe Root, Ben Stokes and Liam Livingstone were all out for ducks. At the 8th over England’s score read 26-5. Indian bowlers made English batters dance to their tunes and grabbed wickets at regular intervals to completely dismantle the hosts.
England captain and Moeen Ali managed to stem the flow of wickets for a while before the latter fell to Prasidh Krishna.
Buttler’s wicket ended England’s last hope to post a respectable total on board, finally fell to Shami for 30 off 32 balls. Buttler’s wicket invited Craig Overton to the crease but the latter could not do much and was dismissed by Shami after scoring 8 runs.
At that point, Shami was on fire as he demolished England 68 for 8. David Willey and Brydon Carse came to the rescue to help their team to post a decent total in front of their home crowd. The duo kept changing the sides to pile up runs in their favour. They stitched a brief partnership of 35 runs before Carse fell prey to Bumrah’s spell and was bowled after scoring 15 runs off 26 balls. Reece Topley was the next man in, who joined hands with Willey at the crease.
It was Bumrah, who struck again and dismissed Topley to restrict England’s batting run at 110, which is also their lowest total in an ODI match. (ANI)