KL Rahul's perfectly executed hundred coupled with Rishabh Pant's aggressive 77 off just 40 balls propelled India to an imposing 336/6 in the second ODI against England here on Friday.
Rahul, who anchored the innings, hit seven fours and two sixes in his 114-ball knock, while Pant plundered seven sixes and three boundaries, which helped the hosts go well past the 300-run mark. Pant smashed 77 to register his highest score in One-day Internationals. The young wicketkeeper played his first ODI since January 2020.
Skipper Virat Kohli (66 off 79 balls; 3x4; 1x6) and Rahul laid the foundation for the big total with their 121-run third wicket stand after being put into bat at the MCA stadium.
Opener Shikhar Dhawan (4) fell cheaply after he nicked a Reece Topley delivery to Ben Stokes in the slips. Kohli joined Rohit Sharma (25; 5x4), who looked in his element, as he hit three boundaries off Topley (2/50).
But in the next over, Curran (1/47) cut-short his stay at the crease. Rohit flicked a full pitched delivery straight to Adil Rashid at short fine leg, as India slipped to 37/2.
Kohli and Rahul kept the scoreboard ticking, with the India captain being the bit more aggressive one, while Rahul initially played second fiddle.
England did not give an opportunity to Kohli to free his arms even as the duo notched up their 50-run stand in the 20th over.
Kohli, who got a 'life' on 35, when Buttler dropped a regulation chance off Adil Rashid, notched up his 62nd fifty, with a single off 62 balls.
The duo then completed their 100-run stand off 119 balls, without any fuss. However, Rashid (1/65) removed Kohli, whose thick outside edge was caught by Buttler, with India at 158/3.
Rahul then put his foot on the accelerator, while mostly relying on pulls and drives. Rahul, who hit his 5th ODI century and Pant then launched himself into England attack. Pant pulled Rashid for his first six, his trademark pull-shot and did not look back.
Left-handed Pant smacked successive sixes off Stokes in the 41st over, completing his 2nd ODI fifty, in 28 balls. Former England skipper Michael Vaughan also showered praise on Pant, saying that the wicketkeeper-batsman is one player for whom he would leave the bar.
"If you had to choose one player to leave the bar for right now mine would be @RishabhPant17 ... he is absolutely fantastic to watch ... #INDvsENG," Vaughan tweeted.
After Rahul fell, Pant continued his six-hitting spree with Hardik Pandya (35 off 16 balls; 1x4; 4x6) joining the fun activity as India amassed 126 runs in the final 10 overs. This is the second instance when India have hit successive 300 plus scores in five ODIs, the other one being in 2017.
(With PTI Inputs)