New Delhi: India pulled of their second highest successful chase in One-Day International cricket to beat England by 3 wickets in the first ODI at Pune. The centrepiece of the mammoth chase of 351 runs was a 200-run fifth wicket stand between captain Virat Kohli and local boy Kedar Jadhav, who lit up the MCA stadium with their attacking shots.
The run chase was also India's highest against England, eclipsing the previous mark that was set during the 2002 Natwest Trophy Final.
After conceding 350 runs, India were off to the worst possible start as openers Shikhar Dhawan and KL Rahul failed to get going. To make things worse, Dhawan departed after scoring just one run after facing 10 valuable balls. David Willey was the bowler who sent back Dhawan and he dealt India a second blow when he cleaned up KL Rahul's stumps. The right-handed opening batsman was dismissed for 8 off 18 deliveries.
Yuvraj Singh, who has made a comeback to the Indian side on the back of a great run in the domestic circuit, gave glimpses of his form when he launched a huge six on the leg side to give much needed support to Indian captain Virat Kohli, who was looking in top form.
But Ben Stokes induced an edge off Yuvraj's bat to send him back for 15 as India were now in trouble at 56/3. Mahendra Singh Dhoni came out in the middle in his first match after giving up ODI captaincy and made his intentions clear by hitting a crisp boundary.
But Dhoni's eagerness to get the big shots going got the better of him as he miss hit a well pitched up delivery from Jake Ball to give a simple catch to David Willey. Dhoni's dismissal for 6 left India at 63/4 with hopes of victory all but over.
Jadhav's assault took the pressure away from Kohli as the duo kept the runs flowing by taking calculated risks. The chase was broken down into small targets as Kohli and Jadhav kept chipping away at England's mammoth total.
Both brought up their half centuries one after another, Jadhav in just 29 balls as India scrossed the 200-run mark in just about the 30-over mark.
Virat Kohli then brought up his 27th ODI century with a huge six to put India in cruise control mode. Kedar Jadhav was the next to reach his century, the second of his career as things looked in the home team's favour.
But Ben Stokes bowled a shortish delivery to induce a false shot from the Indian captain, as Kohli departed for 122, leaving India 263/5, still needing 88 runs to win.
Kedar Jadhav struggled with cramps but still had the firepower to hit the big shots as he kept going to keep India abreast with the required run rate.
Jadhav finally departed for 122 of 105 balls, removed by Jake Ball with India still needing more than 50 runs to complete their second highest chase, but the required rate was now under six runs per over.
Pandya then kept his cool in the company of Ravichandran Ashwin to take India home with 11 balls remaining, Pandya was unbeaten on 40.
Earlier, Virat Kohli won the toss in his first match as India's official One-Day International captain and put England in to bat.
Opener Jason Roy started in cavalier fashion as he hit the Indian pacers to all parts of the relatively small MCA stadium. Alex Hales left early, but Roy continued his assault with Joe Root at the other end.
Roy and Root put on 69 for the second wicket as England raced past the 100-run mark in no time. But Ravindra Jadeja halted their charge by getting Jason Roy out stumped for 73 runs.
That brought England captain Eoin Morgan on to the pitch and the southpaw hit some neat blows to take his team past the 150-run mark in the company of Joe Root, who was playing his sheet anchor role to perfection.
Jos Buttler was the next man in and he did what he knows best, going after the bowling as England maintained a healthy run-rate. Meanwhile, Joe Root brought up his 12th ODI fifty as the duo pushed the score past the two hundred run mark.
Pandya then removed Jos Buttler for 31 as the wicket-keeper batsman holed out at mid-off looking to hit a big shot, leaving the visitors on 220/4. That brought the left-handed Ben Stokes into the middle and he went for the jugular from the first delivery itself.
Joe Root's dismissal for 78 left England at 244/5 with a little over eight overs to go and with Jasprit Bumrah in his elements, it looked like the hosts will pull things back.
And it is just at that time that Ben Stokes decided to change things around. The southpaw picked on India's most reliable death bowler, Jasprit Bumrah, to launch a scathing attack. Stokes hit the fastest half century by an Englishman against India of just 33 deliveries to take England beyond the 300-run mark.
Ben Stokes departed for 62 but by then the job was done as India were bleeding runs. Moeen Ali (28) also provided able support as the Indian pacers erred in line and length to allow England to score 115 runs in the last 10 overs as the visitors posted 350/7 in their 50 overs.