India knew they had to bounce back from their defeat in the second ODI to clinch the three match ODI series against England. They made changes to both their batting and bowling line-ups in an effort to plug the weaknesses exposed in the second ODI but the changes never worked and India suffered a humiliating defeat.
Indian Middle Order: Cause For Concern
India have done well when their openers and Kohli get them off to a good start. When the top three fail, India’s middle-order has been exposed and that was the case once again at Leeds. R Sharma fell cheaply and Dhawan and Kohli tried to stitch together a partnership. They found it hard to break the shackles imposed by good bowling and were in heaps of trouble when Dhawan got run out and Kohli fell to a beauty from A Rashid.
D Karthik who came in for KL Rahul looked good in his short knock but was bowled by A Rashid and that brought MS Dhoni to the crease. It was a great chance for MS Dhoni to put the boos of Lords behind him and play a clinical knock but the aging ex-skipper struggled to find his touch and once again and was unable to rotate the strike. India’s middle-order struggled as usual and it took some lusty blows from S Thakur towards the end to get India to 256.
Fast Bowlers Lacking Confidence
India dropped U Yadav and S Kaul and brought back B Kumar to see if he could use his swing and guile to help them with the third ODI. B Kumar looked completely out of sorts and low on confidence as J Bairstow hit him out of the attack.
K Yadav and Y Chahal who were the danger men for England could not get a breakthrough as captain Eoin Morgan (88) and test captain Joe Root (100) put together an unbeaten partnership to take England home. A Rashid received the man of the match award while Joe Root received the man of the series award.
In a post-match statement, Kohli said “We were never on the mark as far as the runs on the board was concerned, we were 25-30 less. England were really clinical with the ball, bat and the field as well. We were just not good enough.”