Ton-up Root dominates Indian spinners

By PTI Published on Jul 18, 2018 01:33 PM IST

Leeds: Star batsman Joe Root continued his splendid run with a second successive century as England produced another impressive allround display to canter to a comprehensive eight-wicket win over India in the series-deciding final ODI to wrap up the three-match series 2-1, here today.

Root (100), who had scored a match-winning century in the second ODI, completed his 13th ODI ton in the last ball, while skipper Eoin Morgan (88) smashed an unbeaten half-century as the duo shared a 186-run unconquered third wicket stand to script a successful runchase on a track which seemed to have eased out later in the day.

Chasing 258 to win, England finished with 260/2 in 44.3 overs as India's streak of nine consecutive bilateral series' wins came to a halt.

With this win, England exacted revenge for their 1-2 loss against India in the twenty20 series.

Virat Kohli, the Indian skipper said, 'We were never up to the mark as far as runs were concerned. We had 25-30 runs too little.

England were clinical in all departments and throughly deserved to win. We need to be at our best against a team like England. The pitch was slow throughout the day which was surprising, not damp, just slow'.

"Against the new ball it was two-paced but slow with the spinners. Haven't seen pitches like that here before. The bowlers did well, especially their spinners who didn't get greedy and contained the runs before getting wickets eventually. We thought Dinesh did well, but he couldn't convert his start, so I don't regret the batting order changes. Shardul was meant to get some exposure, and Bhuvi needed to make a comeback."

Kohli added, "When the changes don't come off, they look unnecessary so it must be taken in our stride. These kind of games will tell us what we need to improve upon for the World Cup. We need to have a good balance in the side, and we need to get our act right before the World Cup. We can't rely on one skill, and we need to do well in all departments. The Test squad is pretty settled, and it's going to be a lengthy series. We want to play tough cricket and we know the English side will provide us with that. (About the ball that got him out) I've been playing against Rashid since U-19 and it was a terrific ball, so it's just one of those balls that you have to take in your stride and say Wow. I'm surprised that his turn has reduced over the years, but this one was an amazing ball."

Joe Root, who was adjudged the Man of the Series for his two hundreds, said, "It feels fantastic to come into a big series and perform well as a side. It's a testament to the hard work the guys did. We set the tone early with the ball, and kept taking wickets in the middle overs. In the death, we were good too, rather ruthless. Me and Morgan, we were calm and collected. It was on the slower side, but it was a good wicket. We could hit through the line. There was no scoreboard pressure, because of the hard work the bowlers did in the beginning of the game, so it was just about making sure we build a partnership and thankfully we managed to do that."

"It's about putting faith in your game and backing your ability, so I'm happy I have done well in the last two games and I'll take the confidence into the Tests. We've done well here over the last few years. The pressure of this being a must-win game was important and I am happy I contributed. The Test series will be exciting. India has played well over the last few years, and we did well against Pakistan recently too, so hopefully we can replicate that in this series as well."

This is India's first loss in a bilateral series under Kohli. It's also India's first loss in a bilateral ODI series since Australia 2016 (almost 2.5 years ago)

Most 100s for ENG in ODIs

13 JOE ROOT

12 M Trescothick

10 E Morgan

09 K Pietersen

08 G Gooch

07 D Gower