Virat Kohli and Kuldeep Yadav celebrate an England wicket in the 1st ODI. (Reuters Photo)
Virat Kohli had no doubt that he has to chase against England in the 1st ODI. That is why when he won the toss in Nottingham, he elected to field. His decision was not proving to be the best as England openers Jonny Bairstow and Jason Roy were scoring at 8 runs per over. But after the 10th over, India introduced Kuldeep Yadav and the innings turned on its head. Kuldeep picked up three wickets in two overs and removed the England top order.
That was not all. Kuldeep picked up three more wickets, finishing with six for just 25 runs from his 10 overs. India bowled out England for 268 and later, Rohit Sharma scored his 18th ODI century and remained unbeaten on 137 as India beat England by 8 wickets in the 1st ODI.
Kohli, after the match, said that Kuldeep’s spell was the best he has seen in an ODI for a while and hailed the left-arm chinaman as a matchwinner for his team.
“We knew it was a really good wicket but wrist spin in the middle overs would be tricky. When they have 10 overs then know they have the skills to have an impact. Kuldeep was outstanding, I don’t think I’ve seen a better ODI spell in a while. We want him confident because we know he can be a matchwinner,” Kohli said.
Kohli said it was important to pick wickets in the middle over which is what Kuldeep did. He also hinted that Kuldeep’s performance may clear his way for the Test squad.
“In 50 over cricket, if you don’t get wickets it’s very difficult. There might be a few surprises there (Test squad), we have a few days to pick the Test side. Looking at the England batsmen struggling we might be tempted to do that.
England captain Eoin Morgan was unhappy with his team’s performance and said that India completely outplayed them. He also hoped that his team improves against spin which has been a challenge.
“Certainly not our best day we’ve had here, full credit to India they completely outplayed us. Playing against spin is a challenge we will hopefully continue to improve on. We might need to sit in or a better way to play him…think Lord’s will be different,” Morgan said.
He praised Kuldeep and said that he extracted more spin than any other bowler and there is a need to improve against spin, which will be a point in the build-up to the 2019 World Cup.
“Kuldeep extracted more turn than any other spinner. Our playing against spin will have to improve. To be honest, between now and the World Cup we need to expose our areas of weakness and this is one of them,” he said.