JOE ROOT gloriously rediscovered his type as England carried out a tremendous U-turn and thrashed India at Lord’s.
Simply 48 hours being humiliated themselves at Trent Bridge, Eoin Morgan’s males swept to a series-levelling victory by 86 runs within the second one-dayer.
Root scored his first century of the summer season for both England or Yorkshire and the spin duo of Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali suffocated the Indian batsmen.
Though thriller man Kuldeep Yadav took three wickets, all of them owed one thing to luck and his ten overs price 68 runs.
As soon as captain Virat Kohli was lbw to Moeen, India nearly gave up on their run chase and didn’t hit a six in a accomplished 50-over innings for the primary time in seven years.
M.S.Dhoni, one of many nice superstars of Indian cricket, performed a rare, destructive innings of 37 from 59 balls and was booed by his personal followers.
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Root has looked worryingly short of form in recent weeks and struggled until now to deal with left-arm wrist-spinner Kuldeep.
So this was much more like it.
The Test skipper batted with his customary calmness, rotating the strike and scoring deceptively quickly.
It was his first century in 24 innings for country or county going back to a one-day international against New Zealand in Dunedin in March.
For a batsman of Root’s proven quality to wait until July 14 for his first hundred in a home season is rare indeed.
And Root’s return to form is extremely good news with the five-match Test series starting on August 1.
Man of the match Root said: “I’ve felt good in practice so it was a case of trusting my ability and cashing in when I had the opportunity. I managed to do that here.
“I think we’ve learned from our mistakes against Kuldeep. We took him for more runs, rather than just let him bowl at us.”
Morgan chose to bat first in an ODI for the first time for two years because he was worried about Kuldeep and the other Indian twirly men operating on a wearing pitch later in the game.
Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow made their usual flying start with Bairstow hooking fast bowler Umesh Yadav for a spectacular six.
This time, Kuldeep was able to inflict less damage in the middle overs than when he seized 6-25 in Nottingham on Thursday.
He bowled Bairstow with his second delivery, via pad and bat, and Roy slog-swept him to deep mid-wicket. Kuldeep later coaxed captain Eoin Morgan into hoicking a full toss to a grateful boundary fielder. But England’s batsmen were much more proactive against him.
England were chugging merrily to a big total at 189-2 in the 31st over but then a mini-collapse left them 239-6 in the 42nd over. They were in serious danger of squandering a challenging total.
But David Willey applied some meaty late blows and reached his first half-century for England. With Root moving without fuss to his 12th one-day international century, England ended with 322-7.
Rohit Sharma, who scored centuries in the two previous white ball matches against England, failed this time when he missed an ugly-looking slot at Mark Wood.
Willey struck with the final ball of the ten-over power play when Shikhar Dhawan slashed to Ben Stokes at backward point.
When K.L.Rahul was superbly caught by Jos Buttler off the inside edge, India were in big trouble at 60-3.
Kohli and Suresh Raina briefly threatened but, once Kohli departed, India made no real attempt to win the game – much to the anger of much of the crowd.
Dhoni is known as one of the great ‘finishers’ but on this occasion he didn’t even get started. His inactivity at the crease was bizarre. He couldn’t even use the excuse of having some middle practice before the Test series because he no longer plays red ball cricket for India.
Morgan added: “Root’s play against spin was the backbone of our innings and David Willey played a crucial role near the end – his batting has really progressed this summer and it also had a positive effect on his bowling.”
The final match of the series is at Headingley on Tuesday.