Middlesex v Indians, one-dayer, Lord's August 22, 2014

Kohli, Rayudu fire in Indians' win


India 230 (Rayudu 72, Kohli 71, Rayner 4-32) beat Middlesex 135 (Karn 3-14) by 95 runs

Nearly two months into the tour, two ducks and four other single-figures scores later, Virat Kohli registered his first fifty, leading the Indians to a win in their only warm-up one-day match before the ODI series starts on Monday. This won't even count as an official fifty or a List A win because India persisted with their policy of letting the whole squad play. The win, at any rate, came against the lowly ranked Middlesex, who have won only three of their eight domestic one-day matches this year. And after they batted with reduced intensity to be bowled out for 230. Middlesex did have Steve Finn and Eoin Morgan playing, but a few of them were not first-choice Middlesex players.

Ravi Shastri, the new team director, was seen in the dressing room, wearing a suit. He spent a lot of time talking to Duncan Fletcher, but he also seemed to be having discussions with other players. MS Dhoni gave the game a miss, but he came out to field in the afternoon after having spent an hour and a half in the gym.

Apart from Kohli, Ambati Rayudu scored 72 before voluntarily ending his innings. The Indians were 211 for 5 at the end of 40 overs when Rayudu went off the field. The next four wickets fell for 19 runs in 26 deliveries. The lower order had been a bit like India's top order, playing too many shots. Shikhar Dhawan found mid-off after he danced down the wicket to the left-arm pace of Gurjit Sandhu. Rohit Sharma managed to get caught at third man on the shorter side of the ground: the match was played at the edge of a square, which meant the boundary on one side was barely 45 yards. Ajinkya Rahane tried to force a short-of-a-length delivery on the up, and found mid-on. At 52 for 3 after 13.3 overs, Kohli and Rayudu came together.

Kohli did seem to have the same problem as in the Tests when he faced Finn, following shortish balls with a vertical bat not intent on hitting them hard. After he survived that spell without edging, Kohli played freely. He hit quicks over extra cover, drove down the ground, and also gave the spinners the charge. Against Ravi Patel's left-arm spin, Kohli hit a six over extra cover, chipped over that man for three, nearly got stumped, but followed up next ball with a straight loft for four. Patel finally got him caught at the wicket, though.

Rayudu's innings set off with a couple of fours to the short boundary - wide mid-on in his case - but he hardly got to face Finn. He did bat ahead of Suresh Raina, who was sent out only as an afterthought when nine wickets had fallen with plenty of overs to spare. Raina proceeded to walk past an offbreak from Ollie Rayner, who had earlier taken two good return catches.

Middlesex were hapless with the bat, which will make judging the bowling a little difficult. Their batsmen didn't possess a range of shots. Two of the first three wickets fell to strangles down the leg side, and Dawid Malan was bowled, beaten for pace by Mohammed Shami. Once Eoin Morgan fell for 16, trying to give Mohit Sharma the charge and edging through a shortish delivery, the game was all but over. India tried eight bowlers, giving everyone but the part-timers a go. Except for Ravindra Jadeja, everyone got a wicket. Karn Sharma got three.

Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Naresh on August 26, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    Kohli will hit form again. I feel Sanju Samson should be groomed for the number 4 slot in the different formats. Indian batsman do better when attacking than defending as in the Tests. We should not forget November 2013 in Bangalore when Rohit Sharma hit that 200 in an ODI.

  • Dummy on August 23, 2014, 21:06 GMT

    I just couldn't believe they batted Jadeja & Ashwin ahead of Samson! Samson's got the ability to build an innings! He is not a lower order pinch hitter! Sad to see him being misused even in a List A match :(

  • Android on August 23, 2014, 20:15 GMT

    At least drop jadeja now and pick karan/bunny instead....

  • Dummy on August 23, 2014, 19:22 GMT

    Rohit sharma doesnt deserve seat in any format of indian cricket team. For england one day series the playing eleven may be as:- sikhar,sanju samson,kohli,raina,ambati,dhoni,binny,ashwin,bhuvi,umesh/shami ahmed,ishant. According to me this will b ideal

  • jaimin on August 23, 2014, 16:11 GMT

    1st match 1. Rohit 2. Rahane 3. Kohli 4. Raina 5. Rayadu 6. Dhoni 7. Binny 8. K sharma 9. Ashwin 10. BHUVI 11. Shami India should go with 5 bowlers Bhuvi ashwin shami can bowl 10 overs each =30 Binny karn Raina can divide 20 overs = 20 =50 each Also rohit and rayadu can maybe chip in a overs here and there Our batting can bat down deep india should play this 11

  • Dummy4 on August 23, 2014, 16:01 GMT

    I dont understand why so many people want raina in the team.. He has been so hapless against good fast bowling even on Indian pitches.. His form seems to come out only when he plays the IPL.. I dont think he deserves a place in the team just bcoz he's a good fielder.. Same for Jadeja, he has played decently.. But when we have an ption in karn Sharma, we must play him.. Jadeja couldnt even manage a wicket against this weak side.. Also, Karn is a wicket taking bowler, he & Ashwin will be a better combination, than Jadeja-Ashwin.. Karn can bat well too.. My team would be: Shikhar, Rohit, Kohli, Rayudu/Rahane, Dhoni, Samson(wk), Ashwin, Karn, Bhuvi, Umesh, Shami (or drop a pacer for playing both Rayudu & Rahane).. Dhoni shoudnt be keeping wickets, so that he can concentrate better on captaincy & batting..

  • Tahir on August 23, 2014, 15:27 GMT

    india's team for first odi 1.Rohit 2.Shikkar 3.Virat 4.Raina 5.MSD 6.Rayudu 7.Jaddu 8.Ashwin 9.Bhuvi 10.Shami 11. Mohit/Umesh

  • Dummy on August 23, 2014, 14:56 GMT

    I wonder how rohith maintains a spot in the team...and talking about raina,how would u expect him to face quality pace bowling overseas..and we became used to see indians playing with 9 players (rohith and jadeja).. My team would be 1.dhawan 2.rahane 3.kohli 4.rayudu 5.Dhoni 6.samson 7.aswin 8.k.sharma 9.bhuvaneshwar kumar 10.mohammed shami 11.umesh yadav..... It would hv been better to hv a left arm pacer..irfan would have been cool.

  • Prathap on August 23, 2014, 13:57 GMT

    Suresh Raina Have to bat top of the order. My Team Choice : 1. Ajinkya Rahane, 2. Shikhar Dhawan, 3. Virat Kohli, 4. Suresh Raina, 5. M.S. Dhoni, 6. Ambati Rayudu, 7. Ravindra Jadeja, 8. Ravi Ashwin, 9. Buvaneshwar Kumar, 10. Mohmed Shami, 11. Umesh Yadav.

  • Dummy4 on August 23, 2014, 13:07 GMT

    Rohit or Rahena cant be opening the game. If it happens india will never win match. Sanju and Dhawan should open. We cant say jadu best all rounder though he has 30 above average. he also very worst in overseas. They can give 1 or 2 match for jadu, if it not works they can try K.Sharma. Dhoni should get down pos #4 or 5. There is nothing to do with the name good finisher, If you r g'ng to loose the match. Indian bat-side is very worst, no way other than managing. Hope 1ly raina, raydu, dhoni and aswin cn withstand england bwl'ng attack. Rest all, I not hav any hope.

    My Batting lineup : Sanju, dhawan, raydu, Kholi, Dhoni, raina, Aswin, jadu/K.Sharma/binny, bhu, M.Sharma, I.sharma.

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