Player of the Match
Player of the Match

England spinners turn tables on limp India

England 322 for 7 (Root 113, Morgan 53, Willey 50*, Kuldeep 3-68) beat India 236 (Raina 46, Kohli 45, Plunkett 4-46, Rashid 2-38) by 86 runs

In what England would hope heralds a sustained run of form through their home season, Joe Root made a high-quality 113, his 13th ODI century, to provide the base for England's series-levelling 86-run win at Lord's. To put their win down wholly to Root's knock, however, would do no justice to David Willey or Adil Rashid or Moeen Ali.

Willey's 30-ball half-century, the fastest for England against India, injected late momentum into an innings that seemed destined to end up at 280 or thereabouts. Siddarth Kaul, in just his second ODI, repeatedly lost his lengths and bore the brunt of Willey's improvisation. Umesh Yadav didn't fare much better as England plundered 94 off the last 10 to finish with 322 for 7. Virat Kohli kept India in the hunt in the chase, but Moeen changed all that by having him lbw in the 27th over. England proceeded to choke India with spin, and the required rate escalated to over eleven an over with 12 overs to play.

That England managed to keep Dhoni and Hardik Pandya quiet was a mark of the control they had over proceedings. Eoin Morgan had elected to bat presumably to deny India's spinners the advantage of bowling on a drier surface late in the day. As it turned out, their very own benefited from this, combining for figures of 3 for 80 off 20 overs in decisive spells.

The final result had a feeling of inevitability to it, with Dhoni plodding along to make a 59-ball 37, making Tuesday's clash at Leeds a winner-takes-all contest. While the big hits eluded him, Dhoni brought up the 33 runs he needed to become just the fourth Indian, after Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, to bring up 10,000 ODI runs.

The preceding T20I series had marked the first time Root was dropped in any form of cricket for England since the 2014 Sydney Test. There may have pressure on him subsequently, but, with the injury to Alex Hales and the team's spin woes piling up, he couldn't have asked for a more opportune moment to roar back into form.

Root's diffidence to spin had cost him at Trent Bridge - he was pinned on the back foot. At Lord's he was much more assertive against Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, playing them as late as possible but trying to get as close as possible to the pitch of the ball. This helped him put away the odd lose delivery the pair delivered in trying to impart turn. His control percentage against the wristspinning pair was 86%, a measure of how well he played them, even if his run-scoring was not at its most fluent.

That this innings came hot on the heels of the openers falling to Kuldeep made it all the more crucial. In looking to break a threatening opening stand, Kohli turned to Kuldeep in the 12th over and he struck with his second delivery, Jonny Bairstow failing to pick a googly and deflecting the ball onto the stumps. Jason Roy, meanwhile, slog swept one to Umesh Yadav at deep midwicket.

Root's innings was a soothing balm, and set them up for the late assault they eventually managed. He put on a 103-run third-wicket stand with Morgan, who made 53. Their partnership was an old-fashioned repair job that put the focus on run accumulation with minimal risks. It might have begun to ring some alarm bells for India, but then Morgan whipped a juicy Kuldeep full toss to Shikhar Dhawan at deep midwicket.

At 189 for 3 in the 31st over, the stage seemed set for Jos Buttler, but England preferred Ben Stokes, who had made England's slowest half-century in the last 10 years at Trent Bridge two days ago. He did not click today either, and to compound matters Buttler was out soon after, leaving England vulnerable. This was when India's bowlers switched off and Willey cashed in to make a difference of at least 40 runs to the end total.

India's openers started well, adding 49 in 8.1 overs before Morgan's call to persist with Mark Wood for a fifth straight over paid dividends. In an attempt to mow one to the short leg-side boundary, Rohit advanced only to miss one that came back in with the slope to crash into the stumps. Next over, Dhawan sliced a drive to backward point. When KL Rahul was snuffed out by a spectacular Jos Buttler grab - moving to his wrong side to take an inside edge - five balls later, India were truly in trouble.

Kohli and Suresh Raina, playing his first ODI innings in almost three years, added 80. Raina was reprieved twice, the second instance causing Roy to immediately walk off the field to nurse his hand. But, in the same over, Kohli played all around a straight Moeen delivery to open the floodgates. At that stage, India needed 183 off 23 overs, which meant little time for Dhoni and Hardik Pandya to settle in. They never did find their rhythm as the game meandered to a farcical end, Dhoni even defending balls to boos from the crowd.

India 2nd innings Partnerships

WktRunsPlayers
1st49S DhawanRG Sharma
2nd8S DhawanV Kohli
3rd3V KohliKL Rahul
4th80SK RainaV Kohli
5th14MS DhoniSK Raina
6th37MS DhoniHH Pandya
7th1MS DhoniUT Yadav
8th23MS DhoniKuldeep Yadav
9th2S KaulKuldeep Yadav
10th19YS ChahalKuldeep Yadav