India vs England: Joe Root's unbeaten ton help hosts win by 8 wickets to clinch series 2-1
Joe Root's unbeaten ton and skipper Morgan's 88 not out help England win series-deciding third ODI
It was a day when things did not go too well for India in the series-deciding ODI match at Headingley here yesterday. England captain Eoin Morgan had no hesitation in putting India in to bat on a gloomy, cloudy day. In trying conditions, India kept losing wickets at regular intervals, and thus failed to post a total (256-8) formidable enough to put their rivals under any kind of pressure.
England with a solid batting line-up were not going to be shackled unless the spinners wove their magic and as they failed to do so, England, riding on a 186-run partnership between Joe Root (100 not out) and Morgan (88 not out), cruised along with confidence to win the match comfortably by eight wickets and 33 balls to spare and in the process clinched the ODI series 2-1, after India had won the T20I series by the same margin.
After India battled their way with the bat, there was hope that their spinners would prove to be a handful for the home batsmen, especially after England leg-spinner Aadil Rashid (3-49) had troubled the Indian batsmen with some excellent bowling. He provided the most crucial blow by removing Virat Kohli (71) with a gem of a delivery when he was well set. It was imperative for India's two wrist spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal to be lethal. But somehow on a cold day, they were just not effective. Maybe they found it difficult to grasp the ball. But to the credit of the England batsmen, they tackled the spinners well, dispelling all the talk about their weakness against spin. The way Root, scoring his second century in as many matches, and captain Morgan batted, they ensured that the teams go into the five-match Test series with honours even in white-ball cricket.
England captain Eoin Morgan during his 88 not out. Pic/Getty Images
Rohit Sharma's early dismissal was a big setback for India. But the way Shikhar Dhawan (44) and Kohli batted it seemed India have the measure of the England bowling. Kohli was in flow from the first ball when he drove David Willey to the boundary. He played some exquisite strokes to nullify the help the bowlers were getting. Dhawan too was batting with confidence, striking the ball well. But things turned for India when Dhawan was needlessly run out for 44.
Dinesh Karthik, who came in for KL Rahul in the match, had a shaky stay at the wicket and his misery ended when he edged a drive off Rashid onto the stumps. The innings went into a spin when Rashid removed Kohli and Suresh Raina in one over. Kohli was baffled by a Rashid delivery that pitched on the leg stump and hit the top of the off. Raina lasted just four balls, tamely turning a Rashid delivery to Root at leg-slip. These two blows took the steam out of the Indian innings. MSâÂÂÂÂDhoni (66-ball 42) then held one end up while, at the other, Hardik Pandya (21) collected a few useful runs.
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