A flamboyant Indian team that has converted chasing down incredible targets into an art form are once again ready to show their ruthless streak as they aim for a series clinching victory against England in the second One Day International match on Thursday.
With ‘Chase Master’ Virat Kohli playing one magical knock after other, knocking off 300 plus scores has been like a walk in the park with the skipper himself smashing 17 tons at a staggering averaging of 97 plus in those matches.
And with India’s penchant of producing quality batsmen, it was Kedar Jadhav, who matched his skipper stroke for stroke during his 65-ball-hundred.
India now are the only team to have chased 350-plus thrice and in each of them Kohli has been the backbone with centuries each but Jadhav’s innings caught English skipper Eoin Morgan off-guard.
The diminutive Jadhav’s confidence in such a short international career made everyone sit back and look up in astonishment.
As the teams gear up for the second ODI at Cuttack, England team will certainly feel a bit deflated after failing to defend a total of 350 having got four top-order batsmen back in the hut for less than 100.
“We went to alternative plans, primarily trying to get Virat off strike. But we certainly did not expect Jadav to play like that. India kept up with the rate, and kept coming, and the wicket allowed them to do that,” Morgan said after the match.
Add to that, India has had a good record at the Barabati Stadium, where they have won 11 out of their 15 ODI games.
While the Indian bowling was taken to task by the England batsmen on a Pune belter, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Yuvraj Singh’s failure with the bat was the only blot in their victory.
Another person who needs to worry is Delhi left-hander Shikhar Dhawan as Ajinkya Rahane after his 83-ball 91 in the second warm-up match is breathing down his neck.
With Rohit Sharma waiting to comeback from injury and Rishabh Pant waiting to break open the door, time is running out for Dhawan.
The onus will be on Dhawan to return to his best, while all eyes would also be on the experienced Yuvraj, six matches shy of his 300th ODI appearance.