India’s Kedar Jadhav plays a shot during the 3rd ODI against England at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Jan. 22. (Swapan Mahapatra/PTI)
Indian batsmen wilted under pressure and lost the plot in the final over after nearly pulling it off as England narrowly beat the hosts by five runs in a thrilling third and final ODI to prevent a clean sweep at the Eden Gardens in Kolkata, Jan 22. The rise of Kedar Jadhav and good showing by Hardik Pandya in the series against England was a great “demo” for the Indian team ahead of Champions Trophy, gushed captain Virat Kohli. – @Siliconeer #Siliconeer #India #Cricket #ViratKohli #Yuvi #YuvrajSingh #MSDhoni #KedarJadhav #HardikPandya #England
India fails to notch up clean sweep, lose 3rd ODI by 5 runs
Kedar Jadhav (90 off 75 balls), who had helped India win the first ODI with a superb century, was on the verge of single-handedly taking his side to a memorable win as he hit a six and four in the first two balls of the final over but failed to rattle up the required 16 runs to lose the nail-biting match at the packed Eden Gardens.
All-rounder Ben Stokes, who was hit for four sixes in the fateful World T20 final at the same venue nine months back, had an emotional redemption as he scored 57 and took 3/63 to help England win the nail-biting match.
Chasing 322 for a win, India were cruising along with 27 needed from the final three overs but the match turned in England’s favor in the 48th over with the home side scoring just four runs from it while losing the wicket of Ravichandran Ashwin (1).
India still won the three-match series 2-1 after their victories in the first and second ODIs in Pune and Cuttack while England notched up their first win in this Indian tour.
They had lost the five-match Test series 4-0 preceding the ODI contest.
Now the two sides head for the three-match T20 International series beginning on Jan. 26 at the Green Park in Kanpur.
Under hazy conditions with plenty of swing and seam movement on offer, India lost the in-form Virat Kohli for 55, while Yuvraj Singh departed for 45 but Jadhav, who scored a career-best 120 in the first ODI in Pune, kept them in the hunt.
With 16 needed from the last over, Jadhav went deep into his crease to dispatch Chris Woakes over extra-cover for a six and followed it up with a boundary. Drama unfolded as Woakes brilliantly bowled two dot balls and removed Jadhav in the next ball when he holed out straight at deep point.
Six runs off last ball was seemingly a tall ask for Jasprit Bumrah as he could score any run and England clinched their first victory on the tour.
It was another 300-plus run affair as the three-match series went into the record books with a total of 2090 runs that eclipsed 1892 runs scored in the Afro-Asia Cup in 2007.
– Tapan Mohanta
Great demo for Champions Trophy
Jadhav could not steer the side to win in the third ODI, Jan. 22, but was adjudged the man-of-the-series for his 232 runs in the series. Along with Pandya he raised a 104-run partnership for the sixth wicket but India fell short by 5 runs chasing 322.
“Definitely, it has been a series of positives even today, 173 for 5, two youngsters step up almost get us through the line, fighting back against good quality fast bowlers. It was a great demo for the Champions Trophy,” Kohli said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
The young Indian captain said it was a good omen for India that youngsters were taking responsibility to finish the game while playing down the order.
“Jadhav is brilliant find for us. We’ve backed him over the last year, he hasn’t had many games, but he is coming into his own, he gives Yuvi and Dhoni the chance to bat higher and he reads the game well, it’s priceless and Hardik is coming into his own as all-rounder as well,” Kohli said.
“The moment I saw the pitch I thought it was the perfect scenario for the Champions Trophy. The batsman had to show character and getting as close as five runs gives us a lot of confidence.”
Asked to point out which area India need to focus ahead of Champions Trophy in UK in June, Kohli said the fast bowlers need to learn hitting the right line and length.
“The key for us will be the lengths we bowl. We’ve been playing at home for a while. Even here we weren’t sure. That’s one area we would look to address, what are the areas we need to hit to get batsmen out.”
England captain Eoin Morgan was a relieved, finally having a win under his belt.
“It’s been hard work in a very competitive series. Today we were rewarded for our persistent drive to win. The pitch was similar to an English wicket and when you lose the toss, you have to do it the hard way and the dew was very tough to deal with. Jason Roy and Sam Billings did well at the top of the order for us. The bowlers make the captain look good,” Morgan said.
Explaining the approach of their fast bowlers, Morgan said the Eden Gardens wicket helped them execute their plans well.
“Giving a wicket that offered more, helped them and actually rewarded them for good, discipline line and length.
We were always open to what we wanted to do. The bowler has his options as well. I think because there was bounce and carry, when you hit a good length, there was something on offer. So we encouraged them to hit the wicket hard and try and extract anything in there,” he said.
“India outplayed us in the first two games but this win was important. You can try hard but without wins it damages the team’s confidence.”
Jadhav, who scored 90 runs today, he planned to play all six balls of the last over, in which India needed 16 runs.
“I was planning to play all six balls, I knew if I could do that the bowler will be under pressure. Just that the ball I got out to, I was not in position to hit the big shot, I was still moving and that is why I mistimed,” he said.
Asked about his cool and calm demeanor under pressure, the Maharashtra batsman credited M.S. Dhoni for his transformation.
“The thing is, since the time I came in the team, I’ve been spending a lot of time with Dhoni and it has helped me deal with situations calmly.”
Jadhav said he and Pandya planned to play till the end.
“First game when I was in the middle, with Virat, this is the time where you can learn how to finish games and that is what I told Hardik as well. If we play to our potential through the end, we would win. I was more happy if we would have won this game but I am satisfied with what I have done in this series. I can still improve.”
Ben Stokes was the Man of the Match for his 57 off 39 and 3 for 63 in his 50th ODI.
“It was a difficult time last time we came here, put it down to good captaincy from Morgan getting my overs out of the way before the end. It was difficult to start, the ball was not necessarily going through the top, but it was going a bit.”