Root century sets up series-levelling win for England
Willey and Plunkett also impressed while Dhoni played a baffling defensive innings in a limp India chase.
Joe Root’s 113 proved enough for England to see off India by 86 runs at Lord’s and retain their status as the world’s top-ranked one-day international outfit.
Root equalled Marcus Trescothick’s England record of 12 ODI centuries as the hosts prevailed in a curious encounter, levelling their three-match series at 1-1.
The victor of Tuesday’s clash at Headingley will now take the spoils of this series – but even if India win in Leeds, England will retain their world number one spot.
Root’s first ODI century since notching 102 in Dunedin in New Zealand in March paved the way for England’s resilient win, with David Willey’s unbeaten 50 a useful late bonus in their 322 for seven.
Liam Plunkett took four for 46 and Adil Rashid two for 38 as England restricted an oddly subdued India to 236 all out from their full 50 overs.
Spin sensation Kuldeep Yadav had England England so spooked from his match-winning six for 25 at Trent Bridge on Thursday that the hosts turned their tactics upside down.
England chose not just to bat first – for the first time since October 2016 – but also to keep their biggest hitters in reserve and away from Kuldeep.
The 23-year-old slow-bowling star bagged three for 68 at Lord’s, uprooting key men Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Eoin Morgan, with the captain notching 53.
Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler joined the fray down the order, with England’s plan clearly for both men to make hay against anyone other than Kuldeep.
Instead both heavy hitters holed out cheaply elsewhere, left to kick themselves for missed opportunities.
Neither need have worried. Because while at the midway point India were itching to get out onto a hard, inviting track, once they got there they failed to do anything with it.
Credit must go to England for tight bowling to ensure India remained unusually subdued. The tourists will doubtless view this as one that got away, however.
Mark Wood set England rumbling towards victory by skittling Rohit Sharma’s stumps with the in-form opener departing for 15, before David Willey forced Shikhar Dhawan to edge to Stokes for 36.
Liam Plunkett then had Lokesh Rahul caught behind for a duck to leave India 70 for three.
Captain Virat Kohli built a steady but uninspiring 45 before he was trapped leg before by Moeen Ali, before Adil Rashid clean bowled Suresh Raina for 46.
Hardik Pandya made a quick-fire 21 only for Plunkett to draw him into edging behind, and then Rashid snared Umesh Yadav for a duck, stumped by Buttler.
MS Dhoni’s interminable 37 came to an end when he skied one off Plunkett to Stokes in the deep, with India 215 for eight in the 47th over.
I am a massive fan of MS Dhoni but what was that all about ? He is the king of finishes but today’s innings baffled me !— Matthew hoggard (@Hoggy602) July 14, 2018
The veteran India star passed 10,000 career ODI runs but was booed and slow-handclapped by the crowd for his ultra-defensive approach.
Siddarth Kaul was quickly back in the pavilion with just one run to his name, snared leg before to become Plunkett’s fourth victim.
Yuzvendra Chahal then dollied the match’s final ball from Willey straight to Stokes to be dismissed for 12 and end India’s insipid chase.