Shaky middle-order to be blamed for India’s loss?

Bairstow scored a century for England and despite Rohit's 25th century and Shami's maiden five-for, India fell short.

A day before England’s match against India, Eoin Morgan had expressed his desire to risk Jason Roy for the game, and even though the opener was clearly not a 100 percent, it proved to be a wise decision. Roy reunited with Jonny Bairstow at the top to provide England an explosive start and they never looked back.

Mohammed Shami claimed his maiden five-wicket-haul in ODIs but it was eclipsed by Bairstow’s century, and Roy and Ben Stokes’ fifties, leaving India a daunting 338 to chase down. India responded inspiringly through another Rohit Sharma century – his third of the tournament but a slow start – fashioned by Chris Woakes and Liam Plunkett’s tidy bowling – and Virat Kohli’s failure to covert yet another fifty into a hundred stifled India. England hit 13 sixes. India, just one – in the final over.

Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya tried. MS Dhoni remained unbeaten on 42 off 31. But the asking rate was way too much, and England’s bowling just that good. In the end, India finished on 306/5, falling short by 31 runs and will have to wait before they secure a semi-final spot.

After England opted to bat. Roy and Bairstow put up their ninth century-plus stand in ODIs, adding 160 in just 22 overs which allowed England to dominate. India clawed their way back in the middle overs, with Shami’s three-wicket burst but Stokes’ 79 off 56 gave England a late push.

From the moment Roy crunched a couple of boundaries in the first over, England’s confidence seemed to return. Despite not being full fit – he noticeable not sprinting between the wickets – Roy turned to what he’s best at, attack.

England and India had quite a different reading on the pitch. England dropped Moeen Ali for an additional seam option in Plunkett, whereas India stuck to both their wristspinner. Though once Roy tore into Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav – they gave away 160 in 20 – it looked as if England judged the conditions better. Between over 14 and 21, England thumped seven sixes.

trending this week