Root hits unbeaten ton as England hammer India to win series

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Third one-day international, Headingley
India 256-8 (50 overs): Kohli 71, Willey 3-40, Rashid 3-49
England 260-2 (44.3 overs): Root 100*, Morgan 88*
England won by eight wickets; win series 2-1

England served notice of their World Cup-winning credentials by crushing India in the third one-day international to take the series 2-1.

The home side eased to their target of 257 with 33 balls and eight wickets to spare – Joe Root hitting the winning runs to complete a second successive century and Eoin Morgan ending on 88 not out.

That India were restricted to a modest 256-8 was down to England’s excellence with the ball and in the field.

Shikhar Dhawan made 44 before being run out by Ben Stokes, while Virat Kohli looked ominous for 71 until he was bowled by a lovely Adil Rashid delivery.

With England’s limited-overs summer now at an end, the first of five Tests against India begins on Wednesday, 1 August.

England stay on course for World Cup

Joe Root walks off smiling

Less than 12 months from hosting the World Cup, England have justified their tag as the world number ones by beating the side ranked second.

If the defeat in Scotland now looks like an aberration and the 5-0 whitewash of Australia lacks meaning because of the quality of the opposition, then this success is impressive because of the way England have had to adapt their game.

In the first ODI at Trent Bridge, England were destroyed by the left-arm wrist-spin of Kuldeep Yadav, but they controlled India in the second match at Lord’s and dominated in Leeds.

Indeed, just as at Lord’s, it was England’s spinners who had more influence on the game at Headingley, while the patience of their batsmen against Kuldeep meant he went wicketless.

If conditions remain warm and dry, then England will have to negotiate plenty of spin during the forthcoming Test series, which promises to be a fantastic contest.

Here, though, their superiority demoralised India, whose noisy fans were silenced in the evening sunshine.

Moments of magic turn it for England

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It was perhaps a brave move by captain Morgan to opt to chase on a surface which threatened to deteriorate, but his side rose to the challenge.

Specifically, two brilliant pieces of cricket turned the game in England’s favour.

Dhawan and Kohli had added 71 when Kohli turned the ball to square leg and sent Dhawan back. Stokes swooped one-handed and threw in one motion, his direct hit defeating Dhawan by millimetres.

Later, Kohli was looking poised in a knock full of delicate deflections and deft placement. However, he was left bewildered by a wonderful Rashid leg-break that pitched on leg stump and hit the top of off.

That was part of yet another dependable display from the accurate Rashid, who claimed 3-49. Off-spinner Moeen Ali offered similar control and pace bowler Mark Wood zipped the ball around for miserly figures of 1-30.

Only Liam Plunkett, who went for more than eight an over, bowled poorly.

MS Dhoni – so negative at Lord’s on Saturday – overturned being given lbw to Moeen, but failed in his efforts to accelerate the scoring and edged David Willey (3-40) behind.

Only the late hitting of Shardul Thakur, who heaved India’s two sixes, saw the visitors take 32 from the final three overs.

England make light work of the chase

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With the ball turning for the spinners and moving for the pace bowlers, England’s target could have been tricky.

They found themselves 74-2 after Jonny Bairstow’s boundary-laden 30 from 13 balls and James Vince, opening in place of the injured Jason Roy, was run out for 27.

From there, skipper Morgan and his Test counterpart Root showed composure and ruthlessness in an unbroken partnership of 186.

Root followed up his hundred at Lord’s with a measured innings on his home ground. He ran with urgency, punished short balls with pulls and drove with elegance.

Left-hander Morgan was also free-scoring – lofting drives over extra cover and muscling the ball through the leg side, including England’s only six.

India had chances. Root would have been stumped on 69 off Yuzvendra Chahal had the bowler not overstepped, while Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s simple drop at mid-on when Morgan was on 85 summed up the visitors’ day.

Soon after, with Root on 97 and one needed for victory, he dragged a Pandya full toss to the mid-wicket boundary and celebrated with a mic drop of his bat.

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‘Rashid is so important to England’ – analysis

Former England captain Michael Vaughan, speaking about England’s standout players on TMS: “Adil Rashid is such an important member of this England team.

“He continually gets key batsmen out at key times. That’s where he’s become so important for the team.

“Kohli was set – he was thinking 150. And then all of a sudden, some magic gets rid of him.

“Also, David Willey has had a tremendous white-ball summer. He’s gone up a notch.

“He’s brought a bit more zip with the new ball, that ability to bowl wide yorkers and great variations, and his fifty at Lord’s changed the game.”

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‘England were more clinical’ – what the captains said

India captain Virat Kohli: “I thought we were never on the mark as far as runs were concerned. We were 25 or 30 short.

“England were clinical with bat, ball and in the field throughout. They deserved to win. We were not good enough.

“Against England you need to be at your best. Credit goes to them.

“They suffocated us through the middle overs really well. The two spinners bowled well in partnership.”

Eoin Morgan with the trophy

England captain Eoin Morgan: “I think it was an outstanding performance. The bowlers set the tone early on. David Willey and Mark Wood hit their lines and lengths really well. From that point, there was no let up.

“We know the conditions here really well, so we managed to take advantage of that.

“The guys make my decisions look good. At Lord’s, winning the toss and batting only looks good if the guys play well.

“I thought we got better as the series went on. Trent Bridge, we were off the mark, and India punished us. From there, we’ve learnt a lot.

“The challenge from here on in is to stay on top of our game. The first game at Trent Bridge shows there are different challenges and we can still be better at dealing with them from the start – as opposed to making big mistakes and correcting them as we go along.

“The advantage of the World Cup is that it’s 10 games. I presume by the format that by the end of the group stage, the best four teams in the competition will reach the semi-finals.”

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BBC Sport – Cricket

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