England pocket series at Leeds
India 256/8 (50)
Virat Kohli 71 (72)
Shikhar Dhawan 44 (49)
David Willey 3/40
Adil Rashid 3/49
England 260/2 (44.3)
Joe Root 100* (120)
Eoin Morgan 88* (108)
Shardul Thakur 1/51
Adil Rashid’s leg-break and an unbeaten 186 run stand for the third wicket between Eoin Morgan and Joe Root helped England win the series decider by 8 wickets with 33 balls to spare in Headingley on Tuesday. This was also Virat Kohli’s first defeat as a captain in a bilateral ODI series.
England captain Eoin Morgan won the toss and invited India to chase in the final one-dayer in Headingley. India made three changes — Dinesh Karthik, Shardul Thakur and Bhuvneshwar Kumar replaced KL Rahul, Siddharth Kaul and Umesh Yadav.
Mark Wood and David Willey found enough swing to keep Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan at bay in the initial five overs. With just 12 runs on the board, Rohit (2) decided to break the shackles but flicked the ball straight to the lone fielder in the deep.
Virat Kohli and Shikhar Dhawan got along and saw off the new ball scoring runs at a brisk pace. The left-hand-right-hand combination disturbed England’s line and length as they put on 71 runs in the next 12 overs to get India back on track.
But a brilliant one-handed throw from Stokes saw a bizarre end to Shikhar Dhawan’s (44) knock. Dinesh Karthik (21) joined Virat Kohli in the middle and was looking good until he dragged a ball from Adil Rashid back onto his stumps.
In the 25th over, India were reduced to 125/3 with MS Dhoni getting a promotion. He took his time to settle while Virat Kohli got the scoreboard ticking. The Indian skipper got to his 48th ODI half-century and was looking good for more when Adil Rashid curbed the scoring rate.
A ripper from him pitched outside leg and pinned his off-stump leaving Virat perplexed. Suresh Raina, in the same over, fell to the leg-slip trap with India kept reeling at 158/5. The visitors could never recover from the twin blow even as MS Dhoni kept fighting from one end.
Hardik Pandya gave Dhoni support and developed a game plan to see off the threatening Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali. But just when England reintroduced pace, a peach from Mark Wood brought an end to his (21) innings.
MS Dhoni (42) battled for a while with Bhuvneshwar Kumar (21) before David Willey got him to edge one to Jos Buttler behind the stumps. Shardul Thakur’s 13-ball 22-run knock lifted India to 256/8 at the end of their 50 overs.
India made a new opening partnership with the ball. Hardik Pandya partnered Bhuvneshwar Kumar but Jonny Bairstow had other plans. The English opener got off to an explosive start hitting both the new ball bowlers out of the attack before Shardul Thakur removed him for a 13-ball 30.
James Vince (27) took the run-scoring baton from Bairstow but a fantastic one-handed run out from MS Dhoni gave India their second breakthrough. From there on, England’s most prolific run-scoring partnership in the 50-over format, Eoin Morgan and Joe Root, combined for a chasing masterclass.
The duo had a certain plan in mind — to attack India’s seamers and see off the spinners. Kuldeep Yadav was left frustrated. Both Morgan and Root scored runs off him on the backfoot, forcing him to bowl an inch fuller. When he did so, they either hit him on the full or waited for the full-toss. Chahal was impressive but he didn’t find enough support from the other end to keep the pressure on England’s pair.
Both Root and Morgan completed their half-centuries and batted India out of the final. In the 35th over, Chahal had a chance when MS Dhoni stumped Joe Root while he was batting on 69 but the leg-spinner had overstepped, adding to India’s woes. Joe Root clobbered him for a four on the next ball (free hit) and never looked back.
From there on, it became a race between one of them getting to a hundred before getting to the target. The final chance came when England were 12 runs adrift of the total in the 43rd over. Morgan hit a full-toss from Hardik to Bhuvneshwar at mid-on but the latter spilt it out.
Root got to his hundred with a boundary and came up with a bat drop celebration, also taking England past the finish line in the process on his home turf.
India will play England in the five-match Test series starting August 1.