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India v England, 3rd ODI – 5 Talking Points

Ben Stokes England
Ben Stokes. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Team India might have lost the match, but the joy will not diminish because they have won the series 2-1 against a fairly good side. An exciting match brought an end to an equally exciting series. This match was a validation to the fact that the Champions Trophy 2017 will be one to look forward to. The 300+ run chase saga continued and this time England called the shots and recorded their first win on the tour.

India’s dilemma with its openers continued while England can boast about one of theirs. One thing common for both the sides was the efficiency their allrounders provided with the bat. Of course, there are a lot of things to acknowledge for both sides as they became clearer in this match. The match will be remembered for a long time and Eoin Morgan will be a happy man, for it’s a good space to be in if you step into the T20 series with a fresh victory.

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1. England’s lucky start

During the first 10 overs of the England innings, the Indian bowlers looked on top because of some great deliveries. With Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Hardik Pandya and Jasprit Bumrah swinging the ball mixed with varying pace and bounce on offer from the wicket, the runs didn’t come on the board unless it was hit for a boundary. However, despite that and a dozen of balls passing the edges, England did not lose a single wicket until the 17th over.

It was certainly a lucky start that worked in England’s favour. In the process, we saw Jason Roy’s consistency in the tour continue as he went on to score 65 off 56 while Sam Billings, who was troubled the most managed to get a 35 off 58. They survived the initial attack and thus held an upper hand.

Also read- IND v ENG 3rd ODI Review: India take the trophy but England finally steal a win

2. Pandya’s triple strikes

He has had a pretty good series so far and the arguments about choosing a seam allrounder over a 3rd specialist seamer will come to an end after today. Hardik Pandya’s transformation as a bowler deserves an applause because more often than not, he has surprised everyone with bowling economical than specialist bowlers in this series. He has remained handy and has provided breakthroughs. With some excellent deliveries today, he left us thinking about how he managed to trouble the batsmen with both pace and swing.

Surprisingly, the wickets came off comparatively ordinary deliveries, but his bowling performance in all has been pretty impressive. He took the wickets of well-set Bairstow, Morgan and followed by the quick dismissal of Buttler. His batting along with a good bowling performance justified his selection in the team. As Pandya finished the series with 5 wickets and 100+ runs.

3. England chip in wickets

One thing that was different in today’s match apart from England’s victory was the way the English bowlers took wickets at regular intervals and provided crucial breakthroughs. Starting from David Willey, to a brilliant last over from Woakes, the seamers will go back with a lot of positives for defending a big score and preventing a whitewash.

More importantly, they did not let the initial partnerships settle. They were responsible for an unimpressive opening performance for India once again. For Stokes to dismiss Virat Kohli on 55 must have been a personal moment for him, but he would be elated beyond words to think it was perhaps because of the wicket of the chase master that the early turning point of the game came handy for them in the long run.

4. Stokes and Woakes in tandem

The match was a run-fest but it wasn’t such a bad day for the bowlers either. It was a proper bat vs ball contest and it will put all complaints of a batting friendly cricket environment to rest.  Stokes proved his consistency and utility with both the ball and the bat, with performances of 3/63 and 57* off 39 respectively.

Chris Woakes was hailed for his short but handy stay on the crease where he scored 34 off 19 and a stellar last over that pretty much got England their first ODI victory at the Eden Gardens. Stokes deserves a special mention because he has some memories from the 2016 World T20 final that probably haunted him till today, and to win the Man of the Match at the same place is a performance of sheer defiance. The all-rounders are England’s strength and Stokes and Woakes proved that today.

5. Kedar Jadhav shines one more time

Kedar Jadhav has been brilliant throughout the series and it was only fitting to reward him with the MoS award. His immense potential has been at his best in the series and it was on display one more time in his 90 off 75, today. Though things would have been different for India had he batted till the last ball, but his ease on the crease will perhaps make the selectors and team management extremely happy because maybe, they’ve found a finisher.

It’s for time to tell, but his performance particularly today has most definitely sealed the No. 6 spot in the Champions Trophy, and perhaps, the near future too. He batted with a strike rate of 120 and built a steady 104-run partnership with Hardik Panday to consolidate a hold over the Englishmen until the very last over. His performance today, and in the series will be the major positive for India in this series.

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