Virat Kohli heaped rich praise on England duo Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow, saying the 175-run stand between them hurt their chances despite posting a reasonably stiff total on board. The partnership knocked them out of the contest on Friday. India missed Hardik Pandya’s bowling as the lack of the 6th bowling option hurt them.
India was in desperate need of a 6th bowling option in the 2nd ODI when they were defending 336 as the duo of Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow were taking spinners Krunal Pandya and Kuldeep Yadav apart to the cleaners. The two spinners gave away more than 150 runs in 16 overs between them but India did not use Hardik Pandya’s services despite picking him in the playing XI.
Virat Kohli: In ODIs, It’s About Managing Hardik Pandya’s Workload As It’s Important To Have Him Fit
There was no place to hide for the two spinners as Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow hit 17 sixes between them in a match-winning 175-run stand for the 2nd wicket that took the game away from India. England gunned down the 337-run target with 39 balls and 6 wickets to spare on Friday.
Only pacers Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Prasidh Krishna entered the wickets column for India as England made light work of the target after a big-hitting display of the top order which saw England level series 1-1.
Shedding light on India’s decision to not use Hardik Pandya as the extra bowling option despite their other bowlers leaking plenty of runs, Virat Kohli said it was more about workload management for the all-rounder as the T20 World Cup and World Test Championship final are slated to be held in the year.
“We need to manage his body. Need to understand where we need his (Hardik’s) skillset. We did utilize him in the T20Is but in the ODIs, it’s about managing his workload. We have Test cricket in England coming up too. So it’s important for us to have him fit,” Virat Kohli after India’s 6-wicket defeat.
It was surprising to see Hardik Pandya not getting to bowl as he had begun bowling in the T20I series against the same opponents after recovering from multiple injury setbacks. In fact, Hardik Pandya played a key role with the ball in India’s 3-2 win in T20Is, bowling 17 overs and conceding at less than 7. He picked 3 scalps averaging 39.33.
Virat Kohli Praises Ben Stokes And Jonny Bairstow As Their Hitting Was One Of The Best One Ever Witness And There Weren’t Too Many Chances
Jonny Bairstow hit 124 and Ben Stokes scored 99 as England went on the rampage and proved why they are rated No. 1 in the ODI format. The 2019 World Cup champions stuck to their fearless approach despite suffering a collapse in the first ODI by 66 runs.
Virat Kohli credited the two England batsman, saying the onslaught from Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow is one of the best he has witnessed in recent times. Jonny Bairstow scored 124 off 112 balls and Ben Stokes fell 1 run short of a century but he had done the hard work and damage by scoring at a strike rate of 190.38.
“We did falter a bit at times but mostly, that was some of the best hittings that you’ll ever see. We never had a chance during their partnership, that’s how good they were. Tonight was a case of lack of execution at certain stages but they didn’t give us anything. It’s rare to play at such a high strike-rate and not give any chances,” Virat Kohli added.
It was tough to see spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Krunal Pandya leaking runs without any sort of control. While Kuldeep Yadav finished with figures of 0 for 84 in 10 overs, Krunal Pandya gave away 72 runs in just 6 overs and he too went wicketless.