Yuvraj Singh turned back the clock with a scintillating career-best 150 and MS Dhoni followed suit with a century (134) of his own as India posted 381 for 6 after being put into bat in the second One-Day International at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Thursday (January 19). India’s senior pros stitched a mammoth 256-run stand for the fourth wicket to help the hosts recover from the early Chris Woakes strikes that left India reeling at 25 for 3 in the fifth over.
Yuvraj reached his half-century off 56 deliveries while Dhoni took 67 for his feat. The duo picked up pace through the middle phase of the innings, as Yuvraj slammed his 150th six enroute scoring his first ODI century since March 2011. The partnership chugged past one milestone after another, eventually finishing with 256 – the highest fourth-wicket stand against England in ODIs. After Yuvraj’s dismissal, Dhoni turned aggressor – eventually finishing with half a dozen sixes as India, helped by smaller cameos from Kedar Jadhav and Hardik Pandya, added 120 in the final 10. India 381/6 in 50 overs (Yuvraj Singh 150, MS Dhoni 134; Chris Woakes 4-60) vs England
Yuvraj Singh is the Man of the Match for his career best knock in ODIs. Yuvraj made 150 off 127 balls with 21 fours and 3 sixes.
Yuvraj: “Yes the domestic season helped me immensely. I have been hitting the ball really well and working very hard on my fitness and the results showed today. Yes definitely, the lady luck is there and the prayers of my mother and my Guruji have helped me and kept me going. Mahi and me understand the situation very well and we have played with each other for quite a bit to understand each other as well. I started to hit the ball along the ground and not take any risk and once we got the rhythm and the partnership going we started to kick on. We weren’t thinking of a big score but once we got a 50-run partnership going we started to keep playing our shots. We were thinking of 340-350 but with wickets in hand ended up at 380. I rate this innings as my best because I started my career as a lower order batsman and the higher you bat the more the runs you’ll get. It was a dream to get a 150 and am glad I got there. I had a lot of belief in myself though there wasn’t much from outside and spoke to Sanjay (Bangar) and told him that a big one was coming soon. (About his fitness) I think my diet is the key and that is what I have learnt from my seniors like Tendulkar and Kumble.”
Kohli: “We were wondering if we had a good start where we were going to end up today. 25/3, under the pump and not great batting initially but two of our greats stepping up took us there. That is exactly what we envisioned on getting Yuvi back. Scoring at four runs an over and ending up with 381 was incredible. I thought 340 was par taking the wicket and the dew into consideration, 380 was far fetched though they got close going hard at the start and at the end. We knew we would get wickets at some stage or the other. Bowling second was pretty difficult and I was wondering how it would have been had we chased this one. With the dew taking full effect under lights, I thought it was an incredible effort from all our bowlers to keep them down. My situation is slightly different, winning the series first is important before I try and experiment. The next game will be key for us with the Champions Trophy coming up. The openers will need to express themselves and we can figure out what the best combination would be for us. With the little guy coming in at the end and blasting it away, it says a lot about us. Both the spinners coming off a strong Test series has been a strong point for us. Stepping up just when the team needed. Jadeja, conceding only 45-odd runs in his ten overs and then Ashwin coming in was key. The way they struck in the middle overs and pulled things back for us for very important. I think we are playing up to only 75 percent of our potential. If all the batsmen explode we might get a lot more. Calcutta might be the place”
Ravi Ashwin: Obviously, very important to forget the last game. The ground was slightly smaller at Pune. The ground here was slightly bigger. It was important to start off from where I was comfortable with. Actually it was very very important to get the feedback from Mahi from behind the sticks as to what pace and channels to bowl at. The game has changed quite a bit in the last year or so. You have to go for wickets. The extra fielder also helps. Especially the margin by which we won, we needed those wickets as they were big big players for England in the chase. It was very very important to chip away with the wickets in the middle overs. Jaddu is very economical with his line and length and allows me the allowance to go for wickets. It is a fine line but I don’t mind that. There was a lot of dew and you try not to use the seam a lot rather go cross seam. he tooks 3 wickets 65-3.