In Review

Joe Root drops the mic as England thrash India

England come from behind to win series and establish their World Cup credentials

Joe Root “dropped the mic” as England hammered India at Headingley to wrap up the one-day international series and underline their credentials as serious contenders for next year’s World Cup.

The batsman celebrated England’s win and his own century by dropping his bat in exaggerated fashion at the conclusion of the match, rubbing salt into India’s wounds.

Having lost the first of the three matches to the tourists, England rediscovered their form in the following two contests, and Tuesday’s win was embarrassingly one-sided for the thousands of Indian fans in Yorkshire.

“We were never on the mark as far as runs were concerned,” admitted India captain Virat Kohli. “England were clinical with bat, ball and in the field throughout. They deserved to win. We were not good enough… They suffocated us through the middle overs really well. The two spinners bowled well in partnership.”

The spinners in question, Adil Rashid (who finished with figures of 3-49 and was named man of the match) and Moeen Ali, helped restrict India to a modest 256-8, with Kohli the only batsman to reach a half-century before he was bowled by a beauty from Rashid for 71.

The performance drew a scathing response from the Indian press corps present, with the Hindustan Times commenting: “It was abject surrender as the Men in Blue put up an abysmal batting show and were equally listless on the field. They failed to make any impact on England with the ball and the game was over as a contest in the first ten overs of the second half.”

The home side barely broke sweat in chasing down the Indian total as they reached the target with 33 balls and eight wickets to spare.

There was some excitement at the end as local lad Joe Root brought up his hundred with a four that also won the match for England, and then unveiled his unorthodox celebration. It was the batsman’s second successive century and he and captain Eoin Morgan, unbeaten on 88, put on 186 runs for the third wicket.

“I think it was an outstanding performance,” said Morgan. “The bowlers set the tone early on. David Willey and Mark Wood hit their lines and lengths really well. From that point, there was no let up. We know the conditions here really well, so we managed to take advantage of that.”

Asked about his slick captaincy in the summer one-day series (which included the memorable 5-0 whitewash of Australia last month), Morgan replied: “The guys make my decisions look good. At Lord’s, winning the toss and batting only looks good if the guys play well. I thought we got better as the series went on. Trent Bridge, we were off the mark, and India punished us. From there, we’ve learnt a lot.”

As for next year’s World Cup, which will be staged in England and Wales, Morgan said: “The challenge from here on in is to stay on top of our game.”

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