In the second ODI of the England tour of India, Jos Butler won the toss and chose to bowl at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune. KL Rahul’s 108 along with Rishabh Pant’s 70 helped India to set up a mammoth target for the visitors on the board. India 336/6, KL Rahul (108), Reece Topley (2/50).
England struck early in the first innings as they got their first victim in the form of Shikhar Dhawan in the fourth over of the game. Rohit Sharma struck five fours in the powerplay and gathered 28 runs for the second wicket along with Virat Kohli. The Indian vice-captain was looking in fine touch before he fell prey to an ordinary delivery yet again, Rohit was caught by Adil Rashid on Sam Curran’s bowling. India lost their openers in the powerplay, KL Rahul was the number four batsman. Kohli and Rahul took their time at the crease before they could settle in and kept the scoreboard ticking. In the middle overs, both batsmen took those quick singles and doubles which helped them gather some crucial runs after two early wickets. Rahul and Kohli completed their respective half-centuries while amassing 121 runs for the third wicket partnership. The Indian skipper was dropped earlier in the innings by his counterpart, one more opportunity came towards Jos Butler and the English captain didn’t miss out this time. Kohli’s hard-fought innings of 66 was concluded by Rashid in the 32nd over. Rishabh Pant was the new batsman at the crease, he showed respect to the initial deliveries and then started the counter-attack. The southpaw started toying with the English bowlers and started scoring runs across all parts of the ground. Rahul also started putting the bad deliveries away to increase the run rate, the nervous 90s didn’t bother the well-set batsman as he kept scoring runs in that phase too. Rahul completed his fifth ODI century in the 44th over and departed in the 45th over while looking for a boundary at the deep wicket area. He found the man at the boundary while playing the pull shot on Tom Curran’s bowling. The centurion Rahul’s departure didn’t bother Pant as he kept attacking the English bowlers with his antics and completed his second ODI half-century. Hardik Pandya (35) was the new batsman at the crease and the aggressive all-rounder struck a maximum on the first ball of his innings. Pandya and Pant had a small partnership of 37 which mostly included sixes and fours, that partnership helped India to boost their run rate at the back end of the innings. Pant departed in the 47th over when he edged the ball to the third man on Tom Curran’s bowling, his destructive innings of 77 was decorated with seven sixes and three fours. Pandya continued the mayhem in the death overs and was dismissed on the second last ball of the Indian innings. While aiming to clear the long-off boundary he was caught just a few inches inside the boundary by Jason Roy on Reece Topley’s bowling.
India concluded their innings with the bat on a higher note with contributions from Kohli, Pant, Rahul and Pandya. For England, Topley and Tom Curran pocketed two wickets each while Sam Curran and Rashid grabbed one wicket each.