Shardul Thakur and Bhuvneshwar Kumar shared seven wickets between them to help the hosts India beat England by seven runs in a thrilling third one-day international on Sunday and win the series 2-1.
England’s chase of 330 appeared all but over when they were reduced to 257-8 in the 40th over but Sam Curran and Mark Wood, who scored 14, had other plans as the duo kept their side in the hunt with a stubborn 60-run stand for the ninth wicket.
Shardul Thakur Picks 4/67 And Bhuvneshwar Kumar Picks 3/42 To Derail England’s Run Chase
All-rounder Sam Curran, who was dropped on 22 and then again on 87, remained unbeaten on a career-best 95 but could not score the required 14 runs in the final over bowled by T Natarajan with England finishing on 322-9.
“Congratulations Guys for holding up and having a season of a lifetime in the toughest of times across all formats and hemispheres against 2 of the best teams in the world. Take a bow,” Shastri tweeted.
The hosts were dismissed for 329 after being asked to bat with Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant, and Hardik Pandya scoring half-centuries. The target did not appear too imposing for England, who chased down 337 with 39 deliveries remaining in the previous match, but Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s early breakthroughs put the hosts on top.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, who picked up 3-42 in the 3rd ODI, got the new ball to move in the air and dismissed openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow cheaply, and almost got his third but Hardik Pandya dropped a skier from Ben Stokes, with the left-handed batsman on 15.
Ben Stokes, who also survived a run-out chance on 24, holed out in the deep for 35 off a full toss delivery from T. Natarajan. Shardul Thakur picked up the wickets of Dawid Malan, who made run a ball 50, the dangerous Liam Livingstone, and England captain Jos Buttler to derail England’s chase. Shardul Thakur finished with 4-67.
Shardul Thakur who was the highest wicket-taker in the T20I series with 8 scalps picked up 7 wickets in ODIs becoming the highest wicket-taker in ODIs too. Shardul Thakur, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, and Prasidh Krishna picked 19 wickets between them.
Openers Shikhar Dhawan, who scored 67, and Rohit Sharma earlier combined in an opening stand of 103 to give India a brisk start before leg-spinner Adil Rashid dismissed them in successive overs. Off-spinner Moeen Ali then spun the ball sharply back into Virat Kohli to dismiss India’s skipper for seven and the hosts appeared in trouble when 2nd ODI centurion KL Rahul also fell cheaply to part-time spinner Liam Livingstone shortly after.
India found themselves reeling at 157-4 inside 25 overs but Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya then combined forces to steady the innings with a counter-attacking stand of 99, helping the side reach a competitive total.
Rishabh Pant hit five fours and four sixes in his career-best knock of 78 in the 50-over format while Hardik Pandya smashed five fours and four sixes, three of them in an over off Moeen Ali. Fast bowler Mark Wood took three wickets in the closing stages as India was bowled out with 10 deliveries left in their innings.
Sunil Gavaskar: Virat Kohli Has Got A Terrific Team Under Him
The legendary Sunil Gavaskar was extremely impressed with the leadership of Virat Kohli after the men-in-blue defeated England by seven runs in the third ODI to clinch the series 2-1. In fact, it was the third series win for India in a row at home as they have already defeated England 3-1 in the Test series followed by a 3-2 win in the T20I leg.
“I’ve always said that a captain is always as good as the team and he’s got a terrific team under him. He has got a couple of terrific opening batsman; the middle order is very good. He’s got a bowling attack that has plenty of variety.
“He has got an outstanding fielding unit. He’s got a wicketkeeper who is very good and who can come in down the order to bat and pummel the bowling along,” Gavaskar told Star Sports.
“So, the full balance of the team has been fantastic. And when you have something like that, you will win more matches than lose. And that is exactly what’s happening. Not everybody will be able to play to their potential,” Gavaskar explained.
“In a game of cricket, not XI players will be successful but if four players are successful say two from the bowling and as many from the batting then you are going win more matches than losing. India has some fabulous match-winners with the bat and with the ball and that is reflecting in the results.”
During the post-match show on the Star Sports network, Sunil Gavaskar highlighted that Virat Kohli has got a bunch of fabulous match-winners who provide complete balance across departments. The cricketer-turned-commentator added such talented players ensure more wins for a team.