Dazed by Kuldeep Yadav and tormented by Rohit Sharma, England's ODI plans came apart at Trent Bridge, the venue where they had racked up the highest ODI total two weeks ago. Asked to bat first, England made just 268 as Kuldeep picked up a six-fer. They were never in the game in the second half as Virat Kohli and Rohit put on a 167-run partnership. Here we rate the players in our customary report card.
Mesmerising as always, the pumped up chinaman spinner went on another stampede, wrecking England's top order with his laudable skills. He had the dangerous Jason Roy caught out and immediately sent back the lynchpin of the line-up, Joe Root, to peg back England. The wicket of Jonny Bairstow soon after strengthened India's hold in the game. Even when he returned to the attack with two fearsome strikers — Jos Buttler and Ben Stokes — at the crease, Kuldeep held his own remarkably well. He picked up three more to end with stunning figures of 6/25. The game showed how he could be the most intimidating factor in India's bowling line-up this series.
Following up from a stellar T20I hundred, Rohit Sharma stuck to his game of patience and racked up his 18th ODI hundred, helping India gain an early lead in the series. As is his way of settling in, Rohit let Dhawan take centre-stage early on. His first boundary came in the sixth over, but he barely appeared perturbed by the start as he went about his business with calmness, a characteristic of Rohit Sharma hundreds.
With a target to chase down, Kohli was once again at his beastly best, standing firm alongside Rohit in the sixth 150-plus stand between the two in ODIs. Kohli was as patient as Rohit, knowing that the target was well within reach. He took 55 balls for his half-century but before he could convert it into another ton, Adil Rashid had him flummoxed with a peach of a delivery.
With his team staring down the abyss, Buttler cut out his fancy shots, kept the scoreboard ticking and compiled a fabulous half-century in the company of Ben Stokes. Buttler was free-flowing, handled the spinners with aplomb and was probably the difference between England being bowled out for 170 odd runs and where they eventually reached.
The southpaw was in a murderous mood as he thwarted the English pacers to all corners in the first few overs. Dhawan seemed unstoppable, particularly against David Willey — who bowled a slew of half-volleys at the left-hander. Dhawan crunched Willey for four fours and Wood for three before falling to Moeen Ali as he looked to go big.
While England struggling to keep scoring rates under check isn't anything new, Rashid has been a tad different, making sure he atleast gets wickets in the process. At Trent Bridge, with short boundaries and two confident Indian batsmen batting against him, Rashid wasn't scared to toss the ball up. He was rewarded with the wicket of Kohli but went for a few runs more than what he would have liked.
Edging Umesh Yadav through the vacant second slip area off the first ball, Jason Roy had a heart-in-the-mouth moment to kick start his innings. He was then dropped, this time by Umesh himself on his follow through, but found better rhythm since then. His 38 off 35 had six fours, but a poor calculation against Kuldeep cost him his wicket at a crucial juncture.
The most aggressive batsman in the first 10 overs of an ODI innings since the last World Cup, Bairstow began his innings with a flurry of boundaries off exquisite shots. There were as many as five of them in the first six overs but the wicket-keeper batsman, much like his mates, seemed confounded by Kuldeep's guile, and fell to the chinaman spinner for the same score as his opening partner.
Among England's best wicket-takers in their post-World Cup surge, Plunkett was unlucky to not hold onto a return catch offered by Rohit Sharma. He was among the better English bowlers on display and despite not grabbing a wicket, managed to contain the flow of runs.
The leg-spinner was once again on the expensive side, conceding 51 in his quota of overs. Though it compares decently to the Indian seamers, the fact that Kuldeep and even Suresh Raina went for less than three-an-over shows how Chahal didn't quite utilise England's uncertainty against spin. He did dismiss the dangerous England skipper with a fine delivery to earn a par rating.
Umesh's rip-roaring first over perhaps set the trend for the game. He nearly had both openers dismissed in his opening over which reeked of aggression. However, he had to wait for 47 overs before getting his name into the wickets column. While he threatened to be a force, Umesh would do well to keep his economy in check.
The England all-rounder came in to bat with the hosts needing to go wild in the last few overs. Ali, to his credit, pushed his way to 24 off 23 balls, carrying England to a decent total in the process. He returned with the ball as first change bowler to break the threatening opening stand by dismissing Dhawan. However, Ali’s seven overs cost 49.
Despite England racking up the highest ODI innings score in the last game played at Trent Bridge, Stokes took as many as 102 balls for his half-century. Even with Buttler stroking freely from one end, Stokes seemed bogged down and never really got going. He was off the radar with the ball too. All said and done, his 93-run stand with Buttler perhaps saved grace for England.
While the scorecard shows Willey gave runs at less than six-an-over, the left-arm seamer, supposed to set the trend in the early overs with the ball, bowled loose to Dhawan and let the opener off the hook. He conceded four boundaries up front, all of half-volleys, to help India get off to a flier.
Handed a debut with Bhuvneshwar Kumar absent, Siddarth Kaul struggled to make the opportunity count, particularly with the new ball with which he leaked 26 off his four overs. He returned to bowl better spells with the older ball but failed to grab a maiden ODI wicket. While he bowled a two-run over in the death, it was followed by 25 runs in the next two overs, a trend that he might want to put an end to if he wants to remain in India's limited-overs plans. His best moment perhaps came when he held on to a stunner to dismiss Stokes.
Quite effective with his back-of-the-length bowling in the T20Is, Pandya found controlling runs hard work on a ground with short boundaries. He wasn't consistently off the mark but failed to keep a lid on the scoring rate. That said, his modus operandi has been similar in ODIs and his lack of wickets could change easily in the next two games.
Averaging less than 25 since the Champions Trophy in ODIs, skipper Eoin Morgan’s wretched form continued as he failed to read Chahal properly. A flighted delivery from the leggie dipped in front of the batsman and he lost his timing while flicking the ball to fall for 19. Morgan will need to contribute more in this power-packed top order, especially with Alex Hales expected to return at some point in the series.
Dropped from the T20I squad for the series decider, Root seemed a touch uncertain unlike his usual demeanor, and it proved to be his downfall eventually. He hung back to a delivery that spun in sharply and was trapped in front by a fired up Kuldeep.
Extra pace on the ball can sometimes be a bane and Wood found out exactly why. By generating more pace off the surface, he made it easier for India’s batsmen to score runs off him. Wood was wicketless in his six-over spell that went for 55 runs.
*KL Rahul, Suresh Raina and MS Dhoni were not rated owing to their minimal role in the game
Rating chart: 10-9: Excellent, 8-7: Good, 6-5: Average, 4-3: Poor, 2-1: Very poor