After Virat Kohli’s pumped up team, India clinched the T20I series, the top 2 ranked teams of ODI cricket once again locked horns for a 3 match ODI series.
Going into this ODI series, both the teams had quite a few things to look forward to, most important of them being the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 which starts in less than 365 days on the same venues.
The venue for the first ODI was good old Trent Bridge, the home of Nottinghamshire CCC. Virat Kohli after winning the toss asked the hosts to bat first on a sunny summer day. India was ruthless throughout the whole as young spin sensation, Kuldeep Yadav wreaked havoc on the English batting line-up with mind-blowing figures of 6/25, while Buttler and Stokes did the repair work as both of them contributed with half centuries, resultantly England went onto post a respectable total of 268.
It looked respectable only until Indian openers came out to chase. Rohit Sharma smashed the English bowlers all around on his way to an unbeaten match-winning 137. Evergreen captain Kohli, contributed with 75 as India chased the total in 41st over going one up in the series.
After India won the first game by a thumping margin, hosts England were expected to make a comeback at the home of cricket, Lord’s. Eoin Morgan opted to bat after winning the toss, English fans were anticipating an improved batting performance from their team if they were not to lose the series on the trot.
The English batting line-up especially the middle order, stood up to the occasion as Joseph Thomas Root smashed a brilliant ton, showcasing his wonderful batting skills. The Kuldeep threat was still very much on but England watchfully nudged him around giving away 3 wickets and most importantly milking 68 runs off him.
England went onto post 324 courtesy of David Willey’s lower order blitz yielding them a golden 51 runs coming at a strike rate of around 150.
English bowlers took the field with the confidence of a big total on the board and also the ball doing a bit. India lost three quick wickets within first 12 overs only to be followed by Virat Kohli who got trapped lbw in front to Mo Ali’s off-spin.
Dhoni never looked in touch which he is known for as he managed a turtle-paced 37. The water had already crossed the bridges, India fell 41 short of England’s total as the series was leveled leaving the 3rd ODI as the decider.
In the 3rd ODI the hosts fielded first, the idea was to restrict India to a below-par total, of which the in-form English bowling line up was very much capable of. India started off slowly and watchfully as only 32 runs were scored off the first 10 overs. In the next 30 overs, India managed to score 164 runs giving away 5 wickets.
Adil Rashid was the leader of the pack in denying India a healthy run rate as he gave tremors to India’s batting line-up by picking up the big fish, Virat Kohli courtesy of a ripper of a leg break. Further going on to dismiss Dinesh Karthik & Suresh Raina, India only managed 60 runs off their last 10 overs, setting England a total of 256.
While chasing, local lad Jonny Bairstow went after the bowlers before falling for a quick-fire 31, his fellow opener, James Vince failed to impress on his comeback but soon after the departure of both the openers came another, Yorkshireman Joe Root and skipper Morgan, together smashed the Indian bowlers all over Headingley.
Joe root hit the winning runs dramatically also reaching his 2nd consecutive hundred of the series. Morgan, on the other hand, had scored 88 in a match-winning partnership. England was over the line, the series was won, and Joe Root was named man of the series.
Concluding this here, this series gave both the teams a very good chance to look at themselves, their options and various combinations.
The loopholes in India’s lower and middle order were apparent and rightly exposed by England. Before going into the World Cup, Ravi Shastri and Co. will have to sort out that problem.
They definitely missed the likes of Kedar Jadhav and Ambati Rayudu. As far as their bowling line-up is concerned, if only Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Jasprit Bumrah were playing, the results might have been different, but unfortunately for India, they missed out and other Indian bowlers failed to impress, except for the first game.
India is surely going to make at least 3 to 4 changes in this line up when they take the field for the very next ODI game they play. =
As for England, these are happy days. Being the number one ranked side they were expected to make a comeback, and they did so by outclassing and outplaying India in the latter part of the series.
England’s bowling line-up certainly becomes more confident and lethal once the batters hit form. England, under the leadership of Morgan, are very well poised in ODI cricket and are blessed with an appropriate combination of white ball players,
England will look to take the same momentum going into the World Cup up next summer.
As the teams move to the Test match leg of the tour, make sure to check out The Popping Crease for all your exciting insights and updates.