PUNE: After suffering a 66-run loss in the first ODI of the three-match series against India here at the Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium in Pune, England skipper Eoin Morgan on Tuesday defended his batters who kept on going for big shots, saying “losing like this is way better than losing by 10-15 runs.”
Jonny Bairstow might have played a 94-run knock, but India bowlers came back strongly to hand hosts a 66-run victory in the first ODI. With this win, India went 1-0 up in the three-match series. Both teams will now lock horns in the second ODI on Friday.
For the hosts, Prasidh Krishna returned with four wickets. England were 135/0 at one stage, but Indian bowlers made a stunning comeback to bundle out England for 251 inside 43 overs.
“Did a lot of things right today. The wicket was brilliant as well which made for an entertaining game. There was something for the seamers but if you got in, you could score heavily too. Our bad days with the bat make it look worse than usual. Need to execute better than we did today. When you look at our top seven, in particular, we’ve all scored under 60 ball hundreds,” Morgan told host broadcaster Star Sports at the post-match presentation.
“That’s the way we want to play. With one eye on the World Cup, we want to try and push the envelope in that regard. Sometimes it doesn’t work. But for us, it’s better to lose like that than losing by 10-20 runs. That’s the way we’ll continue playing. Fitness levels have moved the game forward, bats have moved the game forward,” he added.
Further talking about the game, Morgan said: “Important for us to dictate the way we play and reinforce the method that’s worked for us. Our bowlers did an outstanding job with traditional Test lengths and lines that proved effective. Didn’t probably play well enough to take advantage of the dew. This is disappointing because the toss is an advantage here in India.”
Earlier, Shikhar Dhawan (98) and Virat Kohli (56) might have set the platform at the top, but it was KL Rahul (62*) and Krunal Pandya’s (58*) blitz in the end that propelled India’s score to 317/5. The duo added 111 of their 112 runs in the last nine overs as they sent the English bowlers on a leather hunt.