Whenever the Indian team plays at Cuttack they are guaranteed of two things – Full house crowd and plenty of emotions. It was no different today but there was a little deviation that the display of emotion did not come from the crowd but from the action on the pitch. Now days when we talk about the Indian batting, all communication is mostly directed towards Virat Kohli as he is expected to score each time he comes out to bat.
Today he failed and so did the openers but what followed next left the crowd and the viewers all over the world speechless. The famous pair of the 2000s which finished many a matches together – Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni came back together to the rescue. A partnership which turned nervousness into relief, relief into joy and joy into pure nostalgia as both the veterans put on a show that was truly majestic. India were 25 for 3 as Chris Woakes set the stage on fire with a burst of the top 3 indian wickets pretty early in the game when Yuvraj and Dhoni came together. By the the time they separated they had played nearly 38 overs together which yielded a massive 256 runs. Yuvraj Scored a memorable 150 runs off 127 balls on his comeback and Dhoni finished on a brilliant 134 off 122 as India propelled further by cameos from Kedar Jadhav, Hardik Pandya and Ravindra Jadeja finished at a whopping 381 runs for the loss of 6 wickets.
England could have imploded, given the pressure of a must win match and the score to chase but they chose not to. They came out full of grit, belief and fight as Jason Roy plundered 83 runs off just 72 balls at the top of the order along with able support from Joe Root (54 runs). A few quick wickets did set England back a bit but a lion-hearted, magnificent century from skipper Eoin Morgan kept England in the chase till the very end. Morgan along with Moeen Ali (55 runs off 43 balls) stitched a quick fire 93 run partnership in just 11 overs to bring England back in the hunt. After the departure of Ali, Morgan got support from Liam Plunkett (26* from 17 balls) but just when it looked like Morgan would take England home, an unfortunate run out in the penultimate over of the innings sent him back along with England chances. Morgan scored a valiant 102 off just 81 deliveries as England fell short by 15 runs in the end. Some good bowling by Jadeja and Ashwin (3 wickets) in the middle overs and Bhuvneshwar Kumar in the late overs helped India survive the scare.
India won the match and also took an unassailable 2-0 lead in the 3 match series, with the third match to be played on Sunday the 22nd of January. India would be proud of their performance as two separate batsmen apart from the previous match heroes – Kohli and Jadhav, did the job for them in this match. The Indian team looks in good shape. England should be proud of their batting effort and come out in the last match for the lost pride.
Yuvraj was the man of the match for his vintage knock.
Ind vs Eng, 2nd ODI, Cuttack
India 381/6 (50 ov)
England 366/8 (50.0 ov)
India won by 15 runs