Root hits a ton as Kuldeep keeps pressure on England
Spinner unsettles Trevor Bayliss’ side again after taking six wickets at Trent Bridge on Thursday.
Spin sensation Kuldeep Yadav helped India tighten their grip on the one-day international series against England by restricting their hosts to 322 for seven at Lord’s.
Joe Root equalled Marcus Trescothick’s England record of 12 ODI centuries with an unbeaten 113, with captain Eoin Morgan hitting 53 and David Willey notching a maiden 50.
Kuldeep’s mere presence however spooked England into a tactical mis-step that could cost them this match – and the three-game mini-series.
The 23-year-old took three for 68 from his 10 overs – a fine return but admittedly nothing to rival his remarkable record haul of six for 25 in Thursday’s India win at Trent Bridge.
Kuldeep still continued to haunt England at Lord’s though, as much as when he was not bowling as when he was.
Trevor Bayliss’ men set out with a strategy to grind through the in-form spinner’s overs, then blast his team-mates to all corners.
Kuldeep accounted for key men Jason Roy, Jonny Bairstow and Morgan, in another fine day’s work, boasting serious turn, drift and variety aplenty. This was one more afternoon where England could not decipher his slow-bowling code.
England were ready to sacrifice some wickets and a fair smattering of runs for Kuldeep, in a bid to release big hitters like Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler around the India star’s impact.
Both Stokes and Buttler threw their wickets away however, and that cost England dearly.
When Moeen Ali departed for just 13 England were floundering at 239 for six with less than 10 overs to play. Were it not for David Willey’s aggressive knock of 50 from 31 balls then, the hosts would have taken to the field with precious little to defend.
Root’s fine century was rendered all the more impressive given the mayhem of England’s other top-order stars. Roy, with 40, and Bairstow, with 38, failed to convert good starts, and the hosts never truly recovered.
Bairstow swept onto his stumps via his pads from a straight ball from just Kuldeep’s second ball of the day. He was doubtless unnerved by Kuldeep’s opener, that deviated wickedly and set the tone for his overarching influence.