Morgan hails clinical win as England claim ODI series victory
Root celebrated bringing up three figures, and the England victory, by dropping his bat to the ground.
England captain Eoin Morgan called his team’s eight-wicket victory over India “clinical” as Joe Root’s second consecutive unbeaten century helped them to a one-day international series success.
Root greeted a winning boundary that also brought up his ton at Headingley by performing a statement ‘mic-drop’ celebration with his bat – an act that provided an emphatic end to an emphatic victory in this decider.
India had won their previous nine bilateral ODI series, and had not lost a series to England in this format since 2011, yet those streaks always looked like ending when David Willey and Adil Rashid claimed three wickets apiece in restricting the tourists to 256 for eight.
Root out. 👊 pic.twitter.com/VTv3KkUdJT— England Cricket (@englandcricket) July 17, 2018
It was then another Yorkshire player Root and Morgan who took centre stage by producing an unbroken 186-run third-wicket stand to see England over the line with 33 balls left.
Having lost the initial match of the three-match series by eight wickets, this performance in a winner-takes-all contest was also a further indication that an England side that thrashed Australia 5-0 last month can be considered favourites for a 2019 World Cup on home soil.
“We started poorly (but) as the series has gone on we have improved,” Morgan said.
“It is a benefit of playing a bilateral series. You play against the same team over and over again, it can present different challenges – that constant improvement has been brilliant since Trent Bridge.
“Today I thought it was clinical, right from the get go.”
England were able to cruise to their victory target thanks to Jonny Bairstow’s brisk 30 from 13 deliveries and James Vince’s run-a-ball 27.
With Root and Morgan’s alliance evenly balanced, it looked like England may get home before either man had an opportunity to make three figures.
Morgan did not – finishing unbeaten on 88 – but Root did to pass Marcus Trescothick with a record 13th ODI century, though the way he celebrated it was met with bemusement by his skipper.
“He caught me off guard completely,” Morgan added. “He’s made a fool of himself!
“The composure he’s shown, particularly in the last two games, is the Joe Root we know and trust.
“He’s been outstanding even when he’s been low on runs – around the group he’s been the same guy, hungry for runs, hopefully that continues for the rest of the summer.”
Morgan was not the only captain left bemused in Leeds.
India, who Morgan had inserted, may have fared better had Virat Kohli not been snared on 71 by a Rashid delivery that pitched in line with leg and ripped into off stump to leave the tourists’ skipper staring at the pitch in disbelief.
“It’s definitely the most satisfying wicket I’ve taken,” Rashid said.
“Virat Kohli is one of the best players in the world.”
England’s victory left India’s Shardul Thakur believing they are the team to beat at the forthcoming World Cup.
“They are obviously favourites because its their home conditions,” he said.
“England know better how to play cricket here, so other teams have a big challenge to play here.”