Image courtesy of: Zimbio
England batsman Joe Root starred in the second ODI at Lord’s as he struck a superb 113 to help his side beat India by 86 runs and level the three-match series at 1-1.
Choosing to bat first, England got off to a fabulous start as Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow amassed a 69-run partnership before Bairstow was clean bowled by Kuldeep Yadav for 38.
Roy went on to make a 42-ball 40 before he was caught by Umesh Yadav off the bowling of Kuldeep.
Root and captain Eoin Morgan stabilised the innings with a 103-run partnership, during which both batsmen brought up their half-centuries.
However, Morgan was unable to convert his fifty into a bigger score as he was caught by Shikhar Dhawan at deep midwicket off the bowling of Kuldeep for 53, which came off 51 balls and included four boundaries and a six.
Even though Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler and Moeen Ali fell in quick succession, Root and David Willey gave England a much-needed spark towards the end of their innings as they forged an 83-run partnership, during which Root registered his hundred and Willey his fifty.
Image courtesy of: Zimbio
Root ended up making 113 off 116 balls, which included eight boundaries and a six, before he was run out by MS Dhoni on the last ball of the innings.
Willey, meanwhile, remained unbeaten on a career-best 50, which came off 31 deliveries and included five boundaries and a six, as England finished on 322/7.
Kuldeep was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets, while Umesh, Hardik Pandya and Yuzvendra Chahal chipped in with one wicket apiece.
Chasing 323 to win, India made a solid start to their innings as Dhawan and Rohit Sharma put together a 49-run partnership before Rohit was clean bowled by Mark Wood for 15.
Dhawan went on to score 36 before he was caught by Stokes at backward point off the bowling of Willey.
With Lokesh Rahul being caught behind off the bowling of Liam Plunkett for a duck, India were in a spot of bother at 60/3.
However, captain Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina came to the rescue with an 80-run partnership before Kohli was trapped lbw off the bowling of Moeen Ali for 45.
Raina ended up scoring 46 before he was cleaned up by Adil Rashid.
Even though Dhoni and Pandya made 37 and 21 respectively, it was not enough to get India across the finish line as the tourists were bowled out for 236.
Plunkett was the most successful bowler with four wickets, while Willey and Rashid took two wickets apiece. As for Wood and Moeen, they claimed one wicket each.
Kohli was disappointed with his side’s performance, and said: “We started pretty well with the bat, it was a good wicket, it got slower but when we lost three wickets in three overs, and that hurt us. I thought that’s where we fell behind. Credit to the bowlers, they stuck to their guns. We always want to test the character of the new guys, we expect these guys to do the job. It’s a great thing to test our new guys and it’s important how they bounce back.
“Today was a day when we couldn’t get going. Moeen and Rashid are both quality bowlers in this format and sensed we couldn’t take risks. They created pressure in the middle overs. If it was one down we could have attacked a bit more. This thing comes up again and again, it’s unfortunate when people jump to conclusions. We all have bad days, today was a bad day for everyone. The idea was to take the innings deep and he’s got the experience. Some days it just doesn’t come off.”
Morgan was delighted to have levelled the series, and said: “Thought we bounced back really well. We learned from Trent Bridge on a more difficult surface here. It was an all-round bowling performance. [The toss] worked out, we discussed it this morning. It was a matter of trusting advice and my gut.
“[Joe Root] His play against spin sets up the backbone of our innings. He plays a crucial part. [David Willey] His batting has progressed this summer and it had an effect on his bowling, which I thought was outstanding.”
Root was named Man of the Match, and said: “Same for anyone when they are struggling slightly, have felt good in practice and was about trusting it and cashing in when you have the opportunity. Did that today. The way we’ve been playing this summer has been excellent and now nice to contribute to that.
“If we are playing well and others are making big scores that’s a great position. Thought the way we went about this today was outstanding, ruthless. [Kuldeep] You’ve seen in the T20, we learnt from our mistakes and we did that today. We took him for a little more. We look to learn and adapt, not just let him bowl at us.”