The last match of MS Dhoni as captain of any national side ended in a loss after England beat India ‘A’ by three wickets in the first warm-up game in Mumbai. But it was after a batting masterclass from the Indian veteran batsmen like Dhoni, Yuvraj Singh and Ambati Rayudu. Shikhar Dhawan also scored a fifty in India ‘A’s total of 304 for the loss of five wickets. Rayudu retire hurt for unbeaten 100 before Dhoni scored unbeaten 68 of just 40 balls. Yuvraj also scored 56 off 48 balls.
For England, Sam Billings scored 93 runs to put their chase back on track after they lost some quick wickets. Openers Alex Hales and Jason Buttler put of 95 runs for the first wicket, before Kuldeep Yadav broke the stand. The left-arm chinaman took five wickets but it was the innings of Billings that turned it around for England.
ALL OVER! ENGLAND WIN BY 3 WICKET
Chris Woakes smashes two boundaries on either side of the wicket and England win by three wickets. MS Dhoni is still all smiles
England are 298 for the loss of seven wickets. Two overs remaining and England need seven runs with three wickets in hand. Hardik Pandya to bowl penultimate over
Adil Rashid slaps ones and finds the gap between mid-off and covers. Four more to England. 11 needed now off 18 balls
WICKET! Sam Billings b Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya with the big wicket of Sam Billings. The ball rolls over after hitting his thigh pads. Dislodges the bails. Out for 93
Maiden over from Kuldeep Yadav. England are 290/6 after 46 overs. They need 15 more runs off the 24 balls remaining in the match. Hardik Pandya to bowl the next over
WICKET! Kuldeep has Dawson caught of his bowling. Five-wicket haul for him. Is there a twist in the tale? Dhoni having a long chat with Kuldeep
SIX! Dawson sweeps Chahal for a six over square-leg and England are marching now. England need 15 off just 30 balls
Sam Billings just turned it around for England. They need less than run-a-ball now. India A struggling now
Sam Billings with a reverse sweep which flies straight to Yuvraj Singh at points. No position to take that. He puts it down and England get four for it
Sam Billings shifts gears and scores some quick runs. England need 35 more runs from 42 balls. Billings on 82*
Ashish Nehra is back into the attack! England are 223 for the loss of five wickets. 82 runs needed off 78 balls. They can reach the target if wickets don’t fall
36 overs gone and England are 216 for the loss of five wickets. 89 more runs needed off just 84 balls. Hardik Pandya into the attack now
MS Dhoni with another change in the bowling. Recalls Yuvraj Singh for his second spell. England are 212 for the loss of five wickets. 93 needed off 90 balls
England need 101 runs from 96 balls with five wickets in hand. Billings and Dawson are the two batsmen at the crease for them
200 up for England. They need 105 more runs. If they keep wickets in hand, it is within reach. 100 balls still remaining
OUT!! Moeen Ali 0 (1) LBW b Kuldeep Yadav England 191/5
Wow! Kuldeep has two in the same over. Moeen Ali trapped LBW. What a match Kuldeep Yadav is having. Fourth wicket for him
GONE!! Jos Buttler 46 (38), c Sharma b Kuldeep Yadav England 191/4
That man again. Kuldeep has his third wicket as Buttler is caught by Mohit
24 overs gone and England are 136 for the loss three wickets. Nice first over by Yuvraj Singh. Mohit Sharma to bowl now
England are 122 for the loss of three wickets after 20 overs. Jos Buttler and Sam Billings at the crease for them. India A were 75 for the loss of one wickets at the same stage
WICKET! Eoin Morgan c Shikhar Dhawan b Yuzvender Chahal
England lose their third wicket. Chahal has a wicket. Shikhar Dhawan with a stunning catch at slips. Morgan tries the reverse sweep but it goes close to slips. Dhawan sticks his hand out and it it stucks
WICKET! Jason Roy c Mohit Sharma b Kuldeep Yadav
Kuldeep has another wicket. second for him in his second over. Jason Roy the man dismissed. Tries to go big again with a sweep but top edges it. Mohit takes a catch in the deep. Good catch as it was skied really high
Jason Roy is playing on different level. Slogs one from Chahal for a six. He moves on to 60* and England bring up their 100 in this match
WICKET! Alex Hales is caught at covers
Hales gives himself room and then strikes it hard but it flies straight to the short cover fielder. Kuldeep Yadav strikes in his first over
12 overs gone and England are 69 for no loss. Indian bowlers have done nice in bits and pieces but England batsmen batting with confidence.
This has been an excellent start from England. Yuzvender Chahal another change in bowling in the 12th over. No wickets yet for India in this match
England bring up their 50 at the end of ninth over. Hales with a top shot to get a four through covers. After nine overs, England are 51 for no loss
End of the eighth over and England 42 for no loss. Mohit Sharma will bowl now as Dhoni replaces Nehra with him. Jason Roy on strike
Ashish Nehra has proved expensive today! Another four to Jason Roy and England move on to 39 for no loss after seven over. Pandya to continue for India A
SIX! Jason Roy pulls a short, loose delivery from Ashish Nehra for a six over square-leg
Impressive shot. It was never a good option for Nehra as this pitch doesn’t have pace
Another lucky boundary for England and they reach 20 for no loss at the end of five overs in Mumbai. They need 285 more runs to win this warm-up game
Hardik Pandya with just two runs from his over and Nehra then gives five from his. England XI are 15 for no loss. Pandya to bowl the 4th over
Eight runs from the Ashish Nehra over. Two boundaries in the over from Jason Roy. Alex Hales is the other batsman. Hardik Pandya will share the new ball
England players out in the middle for the chase of 305. Ashish Nehra to start the proceedings. Here we go
MS Dhoni remains unbeaten on 68 after taking 23 from the last over. India A post 304 runs for four wickets. Big total and the England batsmen will look to chase it down
Sixth ball, single! A spot on yorker from Willey and Dhoni blocks it. Only a single for him. India A will post 304 for the loss of four wickets. What an innings from the captain here
Fifth ball, SIX! MS Dhoni has cracked another six. Over square leg and it flies over the ropes. These are the shots we have all seen over the last 13 years
Fourth ball, 2 runs! Slower one from the bowler and Dhoni just miss-times it. But no fielder picked it up in the background and it falls safely. Dhoni runs two
Third ball, four! Another boundary for Dhoni. Top edge over wicket-keeper from the captain. That could have been the end but safe for MS
Second ball, FOUR! Another great shot from Dhoni. Extra bounce outside off and he jumps and puts it over point for a four
First ball, SIX! FIFTY for MS Dhoni
What strike from MS Dhoni as he clears the fine-leg fence. Picked it from the bounce. What a shot
MS Dhoni moves on to 45* and will be on strike for the last over of the innings. India A are 281 for the loss of four wickets. MS Dhoni 45 off just 34 balls
A powerful strike down the ground from MS Dhoni and it goes for four! What a shot from the captain. India A are 273 for the loss of four wickets with 2 overs remaining in the innings
A fan has run onto the ground to greet Dhoni. Touches his feet before security takes him back
WICKET! Sanju Samson c Alex Hales b David Willey
Samson is out for a golden duck. First ball he faces, he tries to hit it big. Straight to deep square-leg and he has to head back
MS Dhoni and Sanju Samson are out in the middle for India. Five overs remaining in the innings. India A are 250 for the loss of three wickets.
WICKET! Yuvraj Singh out for 56
The man is gone. Gets a top edge while trying to pull the ball. Easy catch but what an innings from him. Crowd on its feet
FOUR and FOUR! Consecutive boundaries from Dhoni. First was a pull, second a cut to point that resulted in four after miss-field. India A surging
MS Dhoni gets off the mark off his fifth ball with a single. He will retain the strike. India A are 229 for the loss of two wickets after 42 overs
Out comes MS DHONI to bat at the CCI. Crowd has gone mad. “Dhoni, Dhoni” chants from the crowd. But he won’t be on strike as Yuvraj in on it.
CENTURY! Ambati Rayudu brings up his hundred
Quick single to mid-off and he raises his bat. Crowd cheers him. And he has retire-hurt on 100*
YUVRAJ SINGH WITH A FIFTY! The left-hander with half-century off just 40 balls. What a sensational knock this has been
40 overs bowled in the India A innings and they are 219 for the loss of two wickets. Rayudu on 98* and Yuvraj on 46* off just 38 balls
Ambati Rayudu clears the mid-wicket boundary and gets a SIX! India A bring up their 200 in the 39th over. Rayudu on 89*
Rayudu comes down the track and sends it over mid-on for four! That is above the waist height and that will be called a no-ball. Free-hit
50-run stand between Rayudu and Yuvraj Yuvraj cracks one through the covers for four and half-century partnership between both of them
Yuvraj Singh batting at 31* off 30 balls. He has been in great knick so far. After 37 overs, India A are 182 for the loss of two wickets
35 overs gone and India A are 173 for the loss of two wickets. Yuvraj and Rayudu not showing half measures. Good shots from them and England left searching for wickets
Yuvraj Singh cracks one over long off for a six
What a strike. Not in the slot but still stands up for it and sends it over the ropes
Chance! Yuvraj Singh fails to read a googly and gets a outside edge but too difficult for Buttler to catch it. Yuvraj needs to put his head down here
Yuvraj Singh is the new man in for India A. He has a chance to show his worth again. Crowd gives out a loud roar as he walks out to bat. Can he entertain them?
WICKET! Shikhar Dhawan c Jos Buttler b Jake Ball
A thin edge off Dhawan’s bat and Buttler accepts the catch behind the wickets. Jake Ball gets the crucial breakthrough
Dhawan and Rayudu both on 63* but the former has scored it off 83 balls while the latter has scored it on 64 balls. Rayudu has outscored Dhawan
27 overs bowled and India A are 129 for the loss of one wicket. Dhawan moving nicely and so is Ambati Rayudu
FIFTY! Ambati Rayudu with a 57-ball 52 for India A
He chipped it over covers and gets a four! Nice innings from him. Great for his confidence. Liam Dawson not bowling a great line here
Liam Dawson will bowl his left-arm spin again. Dhawan on strike. Rayudu is on 48*. He has a good chance to get another half-century
India A have increased their run-rate from three runs per over to four-and-a-half runs per over. Majorly because of Rayudu. Nice set up for other batsmen now. India A 118 for 1 after 26 overs
FIFTY! Shikhar Dhawan shows signs of return to form with a half-century
He gets there with a boundary. Off 73 balls. India A are 110 for the loss of one wicket after 25 overs
India A bring up their 100 in the 25th over Rayudu with a boundary. He has scored some quick. Dhawan on 49* but Rayudu has scored 42 off just 51 balls
Shikhar Dhawan on a roll in Mumbai. Gets some quick runs to move into the 40s. He has been out of action for sometime but doesn’t look like that after this innings
21 over bowled and India A move on to 76 for the loss of one wicket. Dhawan and Rayudu moving on nicely. Adil Rashid to bowl now
A couple of boundaries in the 18th over for India ‘A’. First off Dhawan’s bat, next off Rayudu’s bat. They are 69 for the loss of one wicket after 18 overs
50 up for India A Overthrows after no back up. Dhawan moves on to 28 and Rayudu is on 14. After 16 overs, India A are 52 for the loss of one wicket
15 overs gone and India A are 45 for the loss of one wicket. That is scoring at a rate of three runs per over. Though a slow start this pitch is not easy to bat on
13 overs bowled in the first innings and India A are 43 for the loss of one wicket. Though a warp-up match but huge crowd in the CCI for this match
FOUR! What an excellent cut shot from Rayudu. It was with slightly more bounce on the off-side and Rayudu puts it between point and backward poit
The ball is holding up. Moeen Ali bowling slower through the air so it is coming late on the bat. Dhawan almost miss-hit to the fielder at covers.
10 overs bowled in the India A innings and they are 33 for the loss of one wicket. Ambati Rayudu and Shikhar Dhawan at the crease. Moeen Ali will begin the 11th over
Shikhar Dhawan is looking in fine touch! A gorgeous cover drive to get a boundary. One of the best you will see. Just a slight push from the left-hander.
WICKET! Mandeep Singh b David Willey
Castled! The ball moved back into the batsman after pitching it goes through the gate! Mandeep was clueless what happened their. Big inswing for Willey. Leg-stump uprooted
FOUR! Shikhar Dhawan goes a bit aerial this time with his stroke. Takes the charge on Willey and sends it over the close-in fielders
SIX! After first four of the match, Dhawan gets the first six. Pulls a short one by Woakes and sends it coasting over the fielder
First four of the day. Shikhar Dhawan basks in the crowd’s cheer. Outside off stump by Woakes and the southpaw spanks it for a well played and well controlled drive.
David Willey is on from the other end for England XI. Three balls in and both the India A openers are off the mark with a single each.
India A batsmen walk out in the middle. Shikhar Dhawan and Mandeep Singh to open for the hosts. Chris Woakes has the ball.
INDIA A: MS Dhoni (captain and wicket keeper), Yuvraj Singh, Shikhar Dhawan, Mandeep Singh, Ambati Rayudu, Sanju Samson, Hardik Pandya, Kuldeep Yadav, Mohit Sharma, Yuzvendra Chahal, Ashish Nehra.
Siddharth Kaul (12th man), Tejas Patani, Aryan Hemdev
England XI: Jason Roy, Alex Hales, Sam Billings, Eoin Morgan (captain), Jos Buttler (wicket keeper), Moeen Ali, Liam Dawson, Chris Woakes, Adil Rashid, David Willey, Jake Ball
Substitutes: Jonny Bairstow, Liam Plunkett, Ben Stokes
TOSS: England have won the toss and elected to field first in Mumbai
MS Dhoni and I were fearless, hope we can be the same: Yuvraj Singh
MOMENTS AFTER his appointment as India’s limited overs captain, Virat Kohli had said that having a player of the calibre of MS Dhoni – who is free from the demands of leadership – was a “win-win situation” for his team. Dhoni was at the helm for close to a decade, and ever since India’s World Cup semifinal exit against Australia in Sydney two years ago, his position in the batting order has been a point of intense debate and scrutiny.
With his famed finishing powers on the wane, most observers felt he was better off batting higher up the order, playing the sheet anchor’s role. Kohli, on his part, suggested he wanted his senior player to bat higher up the order. He felt that by doing so, Dhoni would be able to play with a lot more freedom, and in turn, it will help him enjoy his game. “What I’m most happy about is that he’ll be able to play free cricket and express himself as the aggressive MS Dhoni we knew when he first came into the team. As a player, responsibility can take that away from you. I think it’s time he enjoys his cricket because he has taken so much burden for the country,” Kohli had told the BCCI.TV. “Playing free cricket and expressing oneself” were Kohli’s watchwords.
Barely a week before the ODI series against England, India’s comeback man Yuvraj Singh too spoke along similar lines and re-emphasized what his captain had said about Dhoni couple of days back. Commending Dhoni on his decision to relinquish the post of limited overs captaincy, Yuvraj conceded that the move will enable the two to team up and play with the same kind of freedom and vigour that had made them such an irresistible combination at the top of the order for over a decade in limited overs cricket.
“It will be like the old days playing with him (Dhoni) when we had started. Obviously, I started much before him, but back then we were fearless when we used to play together. We can do the same this time, in the upcoming series against England,” Yuvraj told the BCCI.TV on Monday.
‘A good decision’
“I think he (Dhoni) took a good decision in stepping down as captain, as he must have felt that it would give Kohli enough time to take over and build the team for 2019 World Cup,” he said.
The two have been part off several match-winning partnerships in their storied limited overs career. Most will remember the sheer nonchalance with which the duo had pummeled the Pakistani bowlers in the fifth ODI of the bilateral series at the National Stadium in Karachi, eleven winters ago.
Chasing 287 for a win, India were in a bit of strife, needing 146 runs from 19 overs when Dhoni walked out at No.4 to join Yuvraj. The two got into the act immediately, orchestrating some of the most audacious shots from their repertoire. Nothing seemed to bog them down. Neither the asking run-rate, which was close to 7.5, nor the in-form Mohammad Asif. In the end, Dhoni and Yuvraj romped home with more than three overs to spare. In doing so, they finished an emphatic 4-1 drubbing over their arch-rivals. Not just that, it also helped India register their 13th successful run-chase on the trot in ODIs – a world record back then.
Working on fitness
Only time will tell if the two old guards will be able to replicate some of that magic, when the ODI and T20 series against England begins. At 35, both have seen their incredible powers wane in recent times. Dhoni has not featured in an international fixture since the ODI series against New Zealand in October, while Yuvraj, who started the season battling indifferent form and fitness, has battled his way to eke out 672 runs for Punjab in the Ranji Trophy.
He has managed to stage yet another comeback based on his performances in the domestic circuit, but Punjab’s Ranji captain conceded that maintaining his personal fitness was his biggest challenge at this stage in his career. “As you grow older, you have to work harder on your fitness. Apart from fitness, I am keenly monitoring my diet as well. Everybody in this team has high fitness levels,” he added.