As soon as Kedar Jadhav crunches a pull to midwicket, Hardik Pandya is probably thinking two. He hares towards the striker's end, but wait, Jadhav isn't running. He isn't even standing; after swivelling into the pull, he is down. He has avoided falling on the stumps but only just, and the agony of a cramping leg means the thought of the lucky escape has barely registered. Joe Root is concerned enough to check on him. He gently touches Jadhav's right leg, but does little else, probably out of fear of causing further pain.
The reinforcements have arrived by then and fluids are pumped in. Jadhav is probably hearing a familiar Marathi voice, as Ajinkya Rahane, the substitute, is enquiring if he can bat on. Jadhav's family, watching from the stands, is worried; his mother's eyes are moist with concern. Exactly two overs previously, they were moist with pride after Jadhav completed his second ODI hundred.
What is Jadhav going to do? Is he going to retire and come back later? Or grit it out and finish the game, like his captain Virat Kohli has egged him on to until an over ago? He chooses to stay. Jadhav is back on his feet and readies himself for Chris Woakes. Woakes tries the short stuff and Jadhav plays a crunchy pull again - up to this point it is all déjà vu - but the result is emphatically different. Jadhav remains standing, and the ball has gone whistling flatly over the deep-midwicket fence. The crowd, for the first time, goes "Kedar… Kedar… Kedar."
When Jadhav comes out to bat in the 12th over, he is greeted with a deathly calm by a Pune crowd still coming to terms with MS Dhoni's dismissal. But this is Jadhav's terrain. This is where he turns up game after game in his BMW, wears his whites, shares a laugh with friends and well-wishers of many years, and scores hundreds in front of empty stands in first-class cricket. Here he is, in his first international game at home, and yet, he is probably only the fourth or fifth-most cheered player by some distance.
Jadhav, though, doesn't seem to concern himself with such thoughts, and does what someone with more than 3000 runs in List A cricket at an average of over 50 does best. He drags a pull from outside off stump off the second ball he faces for four. In the next over, Jadhav picks up consecutive fours, with a dab to third man, and a firm push past mid-on.
He then redirects an Adil Rashid flipper towards deep square, and, in his next over, lofts him against the spin as he sees mid-on is inside the circle. What appears to be a jog is turning out to be a sprint, as he sails from 21 off 11 to 33 off 18. Suddenly, memories of Collis King outscoring Viv Richards in the 1979 World Cup are dusted up on ESPNcricinfo's commentary feedback.
England's brains are fried at both ends. Eoin Morgan later admits they tried to deny Kohli by keeping Jadhav on strike, but they didn't see this coming. Jadhav is outscoring Kohli. A familiar assortment of dabs, pulls - his bat-speed for this stroke is supersonic - and cuts takes him to his half-century off 29 balls. He doesn't lift his bat to celebrate. Just a handshake with Kohli and a quiet word. He knows he has a game to win for India. And ghosts to slay. Ghosts from last October, when Jadhav looked in similarly good touch on a Feroz Shah Kotla pitch with variable bounce before his dismissal triggered a collapse, leading to a six-run defeat against New Zealand. Jadhav is determined to make up for it. Who better than Kohli, then, to keep him company? The captain said he was "glad" to be with Jadhav, to help him go for a longer innings this time, to put the pressure back on the opposition, to encourage him to learn right "in the middle", to push him "a little more".
The "pushing him" part was nowhere more evident than in the running between the wickets: in the 28th over, Jadhav turns down a single after appearing to have committed to it. Kohli first admonishes him, and then, at the end of the over, explains things more patiently.
In the 30th over, Jadhav once again takes on Rashid - he took him for 31 runs off 12 deliveries in all - by quickly picking up the length and rocking back for a pull, before going inside-out over wide long-off for six. Kohli later said he found some of the shots "unbelievable", especially to put the pressure back on the spinners using clean shots.
As Jadhav neared his hundred - he gets there eventually in 65 balls - he began cramping up and pills were taken, and Kohli pushed him some more. "I didn't need to tell him much," Kohli said. "You don't necessarily need to say too much at that stage and confuse him. So I knew he was in a good space. Only when he was getting cramps, he was thinking about that. I told him to get the focus back on the game and take his mind off it. Push a little harder for the team. That's the only suggestion I gave him."
After his second cramp attack, Jadhav lasts only two more overs and scores 12 more runs before his trusted pull shot lets him down for once. He is bitterly disappointed, but makes sure to tell Hardik Pandya what needs to be done. There isn't any rapturous cheering from the crowd again, but Jadhav won't mind that. While he hasn't gone the distance, he has smashed his pain barriers. This time, unlike in Delhi, he will watch his team go over the line.