NOTTINGHAM: India’s spin sensation Kuldeep Yadav tormented England with a six wicket haul and Rohit Sharma then piled on the runs as the tourists won their opening one-day international with ease at Trent Bridge on Thursday.
The victory by eight wickets, and with 9.5 overs remaining, came after the hosts were all out for 268 with a ball to spare on a sunny afternoon in Nottingham.
Sharma, who was dropped on 92, sealed his 18th century from 181 ODIs with a six before taking his tally to 137 not out.
Captain Virat Kohli contributed 75 before being stumped by the quick-thinking Jos Buttler, ending a 167-run partnership and leaving India at 226-2, but the necessary 43 were found without difficulty.
Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep had earlier ripped through the hosts’ top order with three wickets in the space of 10 balls and completed his 10 over stint with figures of 6-25.
The performance was the best by a spin bowler against England in one-day cricket.
The 23-year-old left-arm spinner also conceded no boundaries on a slow, dry pitch.
England, the world’s top ODI side who had started brightly after second-ranked India won the toss and opted to bowl, were 71-0 after the opening 10 overs, when Kuldeep was handed the ball.
Jason Roy (38) was first to fall, with Joe Root (3) and Jonny Bairstow (38) both following lbw as the spinner weaved his magic.
England looked shaky at 105-4, after captain Eoin Morgan was caught by Suresh Raina off Yuzvendra Chahal, but Buttler (53) and Ben Stokes (50) restored some calm with half-centuries before Kuldeep struck again.
Stokes’s 50 was painfully slow, coming off 102 balls and with only two fours.
He was caught on his 103rd ball, a reverse sweep plucked out of the air by the diving Siddarth Kaul to take Kuldeep to 5-23.
Buttler, caught down the leg side by MS Dhoni after reaching his 50 from 45 balls, had been Kuldeep’s fourth.
The spinner, who also dismantled England during the recent twenty20 series that India won 2-1, wrapped up by taking David Willey with his last ball, caught by Lokesh Rahul.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain felt sympathy for his compatriots.
“One thing that’s for certain is that England need to find a method to deal with him,” he told Sky Sports television of Kuldeep.
“If they carry on playing him like this, he’ll be playing in the Test series too because he’s all over Root and Bairstow in particular.”
The second of the three match ODI series is at Lord’s on Saturday. The five-test series starts on Aug. 1.