London, July 13 (IANS) After stitching a match-winning opening stand in the first ODI against England, India captain Rohit Sharma said that he and Shikhar Dhawan have played a lot of cricket together and understand each other very well.
Jasprit Bumrah’s career-best show with the ball (6/19) followed by a solid unbeaten opening stand between Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan led India to a crushing 10-wicket win over England in the first ODI and take a 1-0 lead in the three-match series at The Kennington Oval, here on Tuesday.
Bumrah’s sensational performance helped India bowl out England for a paltry 110 in 25.2 overs after winning the toss and opting to bowl first in bowling-friendly conditions.
Chasing a small total, Sharma and Dhawan stitched an unbeaten century partnership and chased the target in 18.4 overs. Sharma hit six fours and five sixes in his 58-ball unbeaten 76, while Dhawan finished on 31 not out off 54, having hit the winning boundary. The pair also became the fourth to cross 5000 partnership runs for the opening wicket in the process.
“Dhawan and I have played a lot of cricket together. We understand each other well, except for the first ball where there was that misjudgment (run-out chance),” said Sharma at the post-match presentation.
“He (Dhawan) is playing ODIs after a long time. We know what he brings to the table for us. Experienced player and he has done well for us in the past in these conditions,” he added.
Sharma was tested with a lot of shot balls but he looked comfortable against them and got a lot of runs with his pull shots. “The pull or hook is a high-risk shot, but I back myself to play that. As long as it keeps coming, I am happy,” he said.
The Indian skipper also highlighted he made the right call at the toss, looking at the overhead conditions and the green pitch.
“Looking at the overhead conditions and the pitch, the toss was the right call to make. We used the conditions upfront really well. We never worry about the conditions because we have got the guys who can just come out and use those conditions,” he said.
“There was some swing and seam upfront and we exploited them well. When you play in such conditions, you have to understand the assistance and have field placements accordingly. We knew our bowlers could swing the ball both ways and hence had that kind of field,” he added.
On the other hand, the losing captain Jos Buttler said it was a tough day for him and credited India for exploiting the conditions superbly.
“Very tough day to take, but we’ve got to dust ourselves down quickly. Little surprised by the movement, bit muggy. India exposed the conditions superbly. They have bowled really well in the powerplay. It is something we need to discuss and work out. We have some guys in the form of their lives in Tests coming here and getting nicked off,” said England skipper Buttler.
The 28-year-old Bumrah, with his career-best ODI figures of 6 for 19, became the first Indian pace bowler to take six wickets in an ODI in England and Buttler called him a great bowler.
“Jasprit is a great bowler to come up against. He has bowled fantastically well today and deserves these figures,” he said.
Talking about his own bowlers, Buttler said, “It is never easy when you are forced to try and force wickets. Isn’t nice when your bowlers have to take as many risks and when you ask so much out of them.”
The second match of the three-match series takes place at Lord’s on Thursday.