Prasidh Krishna registered the best-ever figures by an Indian bowler on debut, while Shardul Thakur continued his good form with the ball to rally India to a 66 run victory in the first ODI against England in Pune on Tuesday.
25-year-old Krishna came into the Indian team on the back of impressive performances at the domestic level and IPL.
The team management showed faith in the Karnataka pacer, picking him ahead of Thangarasu Natarajan. He did not have the best of starts, as England openers Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy targeted him early on, looking to unsettle the debutant with some attacking shots.
Chasing 318 for victory, England went after the pace bowlers in the early overs. Roy hit Krishna for two successive boundaries in the fourth over to set the tone for England’s superb counter-attack.
Bairstow was at his attacking best as he smashed the pacer, who was guilty of bowling too full, for a couple of sixes and as many fours for 22 runs in the sixth over.
Thakur also suffered at the hands of the England openers, getting hit for 22 runs in his first two overs as England raced to 89 for no loss in 10 overs.
Spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya were also taken to the cleaners by Bairstow, who kept hitting them over the ropes for sixes with England look set to race towards an easy win.
Krishna, who conceded 37 runs in his first three overs, got an opportunity to prove himself again when he was brought back to bowl the 15th over.
He made an immediate impact by getting Roy caught at point by substitute Suryakumar Yadav for 46, but England were well placed after the 135-run opening stand from 14.2 overs.
Ben Stokes struggled to get going before he became Krishna’s second victim, caught in the covers for one. Krishna could have claimed England Captain Eoin Morgan off the next delivery, but Virat Kohli failed to hold on to a tough catch in the slips.
Krishna took 2/9 in three overs in his second spell to bring India back in the contest after England’s fiery start.
Thakur replaced Krishna and continued India’s wicket ways in the middle overs as the two pace bowlers triggered a middle order collapse.
Thakur bagged Bairstow who pulled the short ball straight into the hands of deep midwicket to perish after an entertaining 94 from 66 balls, having hit seven fours and six fours.
The Mumbai pacer left England reeling with his double strike in the 25th over as he got Morgan caught behind for 22 and then trapped Jos Buttler leg before wicket for two in the same over.
England lost wickets regularly as they slipped from 135 for no loss at one stage.
Fittingly, Krishna picked up the last wicket as he got Tom Curran caught at third-man for 11, to finish with wonderful figures of 4/54 — the best figures by an Indian bowler in his ODI debut.
Thakur once again delivered with the ball with 3/27 while senior pro Bhuvneshwar Kumar continued his good form to claim 2/30 as the Indian pacers made it count on a good batting wicket with their superb showing with the ball.
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