Thanks partly to Elton Chigumbura’s hat-trick against Australia, India have once again become the no.1 ranked team in ODIs. However that wasn’t the only reason, they have shown their class as a one day team easing to their third, and most convincing win to take the series.
India won the toss and elected to bowl first. Though this may have given them a slight upper hand considering the conditions, it was no excuse for England’s top three batsmen to fall for single figure scores leaving the team 23-3 from eight overs. Joe Root and Eoin Morgan did well to rebuild together but both got out to very poor shots roughly halfway through the innings exposing England’s lower order with 20 overs to go. Moeen Ali was the star of England’s innings and this time he worked his magic with the bat scoring 67 runs hitting three sixes but it was not enough and England were bowled out for 206.
India began very slowly, scoring only four runs in total off the first four overs. However they were in no rush to get moving as they were chasing a fairly low target. The openers, unlike England’s, allowed themselves time to settle in and then, let loose. Ajinkya Rahane hit four fours off Jimmy Anderson’s third over and from then on, looked like he was in it for the long haul.
At 25 overs, England were 87-3 and and India had reached 150 with Ajinkya Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan still at the crease. Rahane went on to score his maiden ODI century and India finished the game with Shikhar Dhawan still at the crease, nine wickets in hand and 117 balls remaining.
India’s fantastic ODI antics have once again left their frivolous test performance feeling like a distant memory. However, they have a test series coming up against West Indies and Australia soon, and with the Australia series also being played away they have a lot of work to do.
On another note, Mitchell Marsh’s phenomenal innings of 86 against South Africa sealed them a place in the Zimbabwe Tri-series final. They bowled much better in this match to restrict South Africa to 220 in 44 overs, only Faf du Plessis appeared to resist the South African collapse scoring his second consecutive ODI century.
The final will be an extremely interesting re-match between the two.