England cricket team avoided a shameful whitewash at the hands of world champions India as Joe Root’s match saving hundred helped the hosts win the 5th ODI by a 41-run margin.
England cricket team avoided a shameful whitewash at the hands of world champions India as Joe Root’s match saving hundred helped the hosts win the 5th ODI by a 41-run margin at Headingley on Friday.
MS Dhoni’s boys though claimed the series 3-1, Root’s 113 was the cornerstone of England’s 294 for seven which happened to be their best ODI total of the season so far.
India’s run-chase started poorly with losing in-form Ajinkya Rahane in the first over to James Anderson.
Out-of-form Virat Kohli’s miserable tour continued when, on 13, was caught in the slips as James Anderson again won the battle between amongst the duo.
But southpaw Shikhar Dhawan, who scored an unbeaten 97 at Edgbaston, showed some signs of revival but soon was bowled by Moeen Ali for 31. Suresh Raina came in and played some shots but too departed cheaply. It was left with Ambati Rayudu, who completed a second successive fifty before, on 53, was dismissed by Ben Stokes. Ravindra Jadeja sparked a small revival in the latter stages with a blitzkrieg 87 but it was all too late as the English pacers romped home to victory.
Earlier in the first innings, MS Dhoni won the toss and put England in.
But it was all-too-familiar story as India’s pacers made early breakthroughs before as the hosts found themselves 39 for two off seven overs. But England captain Alastair Cook, together with Joe Root formed a partnership in the middle overs with the former making 46 before being sent back to the pavilion by Suresh Raina.
Dhoni then stumped Eoin Morgan off Ravichandran Ashwin’s off-spin.
But then the Indian skipper made a bold move of introducing pace as Jos Buttler and Joe Root made merry in the 3rd powerplay. England at last enjoyed a productive batting powerplay, scoring 55 runs for no wickets in five overs. But Buttler fell when and was run out by Dhoni but Joe Root carried on the momentum as he swept Jadeja for a six to complete a 105-ball century.
Dhoni later admitted in the post-match presentation about the troubles of depth overs. He said, “We need to improve our slog, the last ten overs with the bowling, Shami has done a good job but other fast bowlers need to step up. We don’t want to concede so many we can’t chase them down. The most difficult thing [is keeping everyone fit], this England tour has been 77 days, then we go to Australia before the World Cup, so it will be important to stay fresh.”
Indeed they do.
Team India was a cut above the rest in the ODI series and despite their frailties with the likes of Shikhar Dhawan and Virat Kohli, the Men In Blue can spark a turnaround with none other than Ravi Shastri around.