It was an outstanding game from Joe Root and skipper Eoin Morgan at Leeds. England nicked the series decider by eight wickets while sparring 33 balls. The pitch at Leeds was supposed to be a perfect setting for India bowlers. But they came out as easy bets for home batsmen, while India’s strikers could not perfect their crafts. Sent in to bat first, India scored 256 runs for 8. In reply, England chased the score in 44.3 overs, in an almost easy stride. Losing the match, India broke its winning saga in nine consecutive ODI series in bilateral campaigns. For Joe Root, it was the second back to back century.
Rohit Sharma lost his wicket early in the innings. The struggle against England bowlers was on since the beginning. Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli scratched the runs throughout the attacks from pacers and spinners. When Dhawan was down in the 18th over, the score reached 84. The best stretch in the innings was when Kohli found Dinesh Karthik as the partner. The latter knocked 21 off 22 balls, while Kohli discovered his momentum. Adil Rashid knocked out Karthik, breaking the pace again for India. Furthermore, when Kohli was down after 30th over, runs became scarcer for the team.
India’s run rate slogged further when Dhoni rotated the strike after Kohli and Suresh Raina left the pitch. The former captain tried to guard his wicket while trying to pull up the score to a decent mark. Being the last striker at the tail, he wanted to make sure about the score. Despite the plan being ready, he could not execute the idea losing his wicket after 45 overs. He scored 42 off 66 balls as the slowest striker. The final push in score was from Shardul Thakur, who plundered with the best strike rate in the innings. His 13-ball-22 had 2 sixes, the only big strikes in team India.
While India’s batsmen could not flare up with a strong strike, all the bowlers could do in the next inning was taking two wickets. Johnny Bairstow was caught by Raina as the former nicked the delivery off Shardul Thakur. But the England’s strike was strong since the beginning. When Bairstow was down, the score already bolstered to 43 in 4.4 overs. This burgeoned to 74 runs in 9.1 overs when James Vince was run out.
After these early wickets, Joe Root and Eoin Morgan forged the partnership that put India’s bowlers at backfoot. The top bets including Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik Pandya pour out runs with 7 plus economy. Joe Root scored 100 runs off 120 balls. He knocked 10 fours in the stretch. Eoin Morgan hammered 9 fours and a six to score 88 runs off 108 balls. These was enough to win the match against India. Adil Rashid, who picked the crucial 3 wickets for England was presented Player of the Match, while Joe Root became the Player of the Series.
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