Kedar Jadhav scored his first ODI ton against Zimbabwe    AFP
Kedar Jadhav scored his first ODI ton against Zimbabwe AFP

Kedar Jadhav scored his second hundred, against England, in the first of the three-match ODI series at Pune s Maharashtra Cricket Stadium. India were struggling at 63 for 4 when Jadhav joined skipper Virat Kohli in the pursuit of 351. The likes of KL Rahul, Shikhar Dhawan, Yuvraj Singh, and MS Dhoni were already back in the pavilion. Jadhav, who is known to keep his cool even at crucial junctures, rose to the occasion and achieved a new high. Jadhav reached his hundred in a mere 65 balls, and became the fifth-fastest centurion for India, after Kohli (twice, in 52 and 61 balls), Virender Sehwag (60 balls), Mohammad Azharuddin (62), and Yuvraj Singh (64).

Jadhav provided just what the situation demanded. He went all guns blazing and eased pressure off Kohli s shoulders, so much so that he already had collected 4 fours and a six off his first 16 deliveries. England, in all probability, were in the driver s seat. But Jadhav, with his counterattack, pushed England on the back foot and displayed a remarkable batsmanship. He reached his 50 off just 29 balls. All the same, he knew the job was half done, as the required run rate kept scaling up.

FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: India vs England, 1st ODI at Pune

Jadhav s intention was clear: put away whatever is on offer; if not, he coupled boundaries with ones and twos. And with Kohli at the other end, it was a delight to watch the duo scoring fours and sixes at will.

Meanwhile, Kohli raced to his 27th century. He was dismissed off Ben Stokes’ bowling, as he miscued a pull shot to long-on ending the 200-run partnership.