Kohli, Jadeja shine as India thrash England
Virat Kohli struck form with an unbeaten 77 while Ravindra Jadeja picked up three wickets as India crushed England by seven wickets in the third ODI here Saturday and took a 2-1 lead in the five-match series.
Opting to bowl, Indian bowlers put on a fine performance to bowl out England for 155 runs in 42.2 overs. Left-arm spinner Jadeja was the pick of the lot bagging three for 19 while off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin (2/ 370 and pacer Ishant Sharma (2/29) wrecked the middle-order. Kohli then came back to form with a fine unbeaten 77 as India achieved the target in 28.1 overs. Local boy Mahendra Singh Dhoni (10 not out) hit the winning runs in front of the packed 40,000-seater Jharkhand State Cricket Association Stadium. Kohli was adjudged as Man of the Match. For England it was their second consecutive big loss in the series and now both the teams travel to Mohali for the fourth ODI slated for Jan 23. After a dominating performance by the bowlers, it was a familiar script again as the openers failed to give the team a good start. Steve Finn went through the gates of Ajinkya Rahane (0) as India lost the first wicket for just 11 runs on board. Kohli then came out to bat early and joined Gautam Gambhir (33) in the middle for a 67-run stand for the second wicket that got back the innings on track. Gambhir's 33 came off 53 balls and he hit four fours. Kohli smashed nine fours and two sixes during his 79-ball stay. Kohli also became the second fastest batsman -- behind Vivian Richards -- to get into the 4,000 ODI runs with his 22nd half-century. Yuvraj Singh smashed a quick-fire 21-ball 30 hitting six fours but with 12 runs left for win the southpaw was castled by Tredwell. Dhoni then promoted him up the order and struck the winning runs by hitting Finn for a four through the square-leg boundary. Earlier, a poor batting performance saw England getting bundled out for 155 in 42.2 overs. Young batsman Joe Root was the top scorer for England with 29 while Ian Bell and Tim Bresnan contributed 25 each. Kohli said he relied on his reflexes as he struck form. "I was batting well for a while, getting out in different ways, got a few good balls, made a few mistakes," said Kohli. The Delhi boy said he didn't have any plans for the Ranchi ODI. "Today I just reacted to the way the ball was thrown at me. I did not have to pre-plan which I was doing in the previous games. I was relying on my reflexes. It was a difficult wicket, Finn gets the ball to seam on any wicket. Crowd support was brilliant," he sai. Local boy and skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni lauded the bowlers for the win. "Bowlers did the job for us. It was important to take wickets with the new ball. 150-odd was not enough to defend for the English side. Gautam batted well with Virat, that was important as the ball was doing something," he said. Dhoni had words of praise for young pacers Bhuvaneshwar Kumar and Shami Ahmed. "Most of the bowlers are new. Bhuvi and Shami have just got into the side. They will get a lot of confidence out of this," he said. Asked if was nervous when he went out to bat, Dhoni said: "Not really, I have played a lot of cricket here. Yuvi got out, so I got an opportunity to bat, at one stage it did not look if I would get to bat. I cannot say it was good that I got to bat, they will beat me in the dressing room. It is one of the best facilities. Execution is very important. Response from the people has been amazing. Everything went off well, we won the game, it was a perfect script." England captain Alastair Cook said 155 was not enough. "150 was nowhere near enough on that wicket. Credit to India. Not really going to defend that, unless it is a freak day. We did not get out to attacking shots, got out to defensive shots. It is frustrating, We have the potential, but we are not clicking at the moment. The ball skid on slightly better in the second innings, we knew that would happen," he said.--IBNS