By: Sandipan Bose
More than the 256 runs stand, it was the position from where the game turned around. Like Pune, England promptly opted to field after winning the toss. They managed to put the hosts on the mat in the fifth over of the Indian innings.
India were reduced to 25/3. Both Indian openers back in the pavilion along with captain Virat Kohli. But, Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni had other plan. They practically decimated the England attack and scored centuries.
On a pitch that was ideally suited for batting, they displayed their aggressive bent of mind with 31 fours and nine sixes. In terms of strike-rate, Yuvraj was an inch better than Dhoni.
But, it was a kind of innings from both the batsmen which would be tough to separate from each other.
A few of the shots that flew from Yuvraj and Dhoni’s bat and sailed into the crowd were so amazing the even a Viv Richards would have been proud of them today.
“Probably, one of my best innings. The last time I got a hundred was the 2011 World Cup. I am very happy with the innings. We were trying to get a partnership. I just wanted to play down the ground and not take much risk.
“I have been hitting the ball well in the whole domestic season,” Yuvraj said after India’s win in Cuttack.
The Punjab southpaw then praised Dhoni with whom he had shared some historic moments of Indian cricket right from winning the World T20 Championship in South Africa to the 2011 World Cup triumph at home.
“Dhoni has been a sensational captain for India,” Yuvraj said. “When Mahi is not captaining, he will bat freely.”
And Yuvraj is right. With no pressure of captaincy, there seems to be an air of freeness surrounding Dhoni. Even Yuvraj, who played started off well in the Pune game, looked in good tough from the word go.
They both were never in doubt and handled the pressure situation by using all their experiences. In other words, it was a perfect icing on the cake to see the blast from the past!