Backed by magnificent centuries from veterans Yuvraj Singh (150) and Mahendra Singh Dhoni (134), India reached a mammoth total of 381/6 in 50 overs in the second One-Day International (ODI) against England, being played at the Barabati Stadium in Cuttack on Thursday. While Yuvraj scored his first ton, 14th overall, since 2011, Dhoni struck his 10th hundred and first since 2013.
Yuvraj vindicated skipper Virat Kohli’s faith in his ability and experience with a classic century as he, along with Dhoni, guided India out of a very dicey position to take them monumental total. The Punjab left-hander, brought back into the fray after three years in wilderness, once again proved his utility as he and former skipper Dhoni steadied India from a precarious position of 25/3 in 4.4 overs to a position of dominance, putting together a 256-run partnership for the fourth wicket.
India were in serious trouble after having been sent in to bat, having lost openers KL Rahul and Shikhar Dhawan as well as the in-form Kohli when Yuvraj and Dhoni came together.
Yuvraj’s strokeplay was as aggressive and fluid as always. He played to all corners of the ground to score his highest ODI score, surpassing his previous best of 139.
Yuvraj was out of the ODI team for three years, having played his last match before this series in December 2013. Eyebrows were raised when he was called back into the side, but India’s new ODI skipper Kohli was clear that he wanted experience in the middle-order to partner Dhoni in case such a need arose.