Former England captain and full-time pundit Michael Vaughn praised Team India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar as the most skillful limited-overs pacer in the world. Vaughn’s opinion comes after India defeated England by 66 runs on Tuesday in the bilateral ODI series opener.
Kumar, while spearheading the Indian pace attack, played a crucial role to restrict England’s middle order from settling down in their run chase. He was ably aided by debutant Prasidh Krishna and Shardul Thakur as the trio managed to slow down the run flow. Chasing a stiff target of 318 runs, the visitors were well-placed at 135 for no loss in the 15th over. However, once the opening stand was broken the visitors batting order fell apart. Krishna stood out with four for 51, Thakur claimed three, while Kumar also made a key contribution by picking up two wickets in his nine-over spell.
Praising Kumar for his performance in the first ODI, Vaughn took to the microblogging site and wrote that Kumar is the most skilled limited-overs pacer in the world and also lauded his display of skill in the first ODI, calling him the best of the day.
Vaughn’s latest tweet soon became the talk of the town and garnered close to 31,000 thousand likes, 1,745 Retweets and hundreds of user comments.
Earlier in the match, the hosts were put to bat first and opening duo of Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma stitched a 64-run stand for the first wicket. Post Sharma’s departure, Dhawan went to score 98 runs off 106 balls, while skipper Virat Kohli slammed a splendid 56 off 60 balls. Krunal Pandya (58) and KL Rahul (63) who remained unbeaten took India to a score of 317/5 at the end of 50 overs.
In reply, the visitors were off to a flying start as Jason Roy (46), and Jonny Bairstow (94) stitched a 135-run opening stand. After Roy and Ben Stokes were dismissed, Bairstow fell short by six runs of his 11th ODI hundred. It was then the Indian bowling squad unleashed a middle order collapse, and the reigning world champions were bundled out at 251 with seven overs to spare.