The ODI series-decider between India and England was as dramatic as it can get. Catches were dropped, a lot of runs were scored, wickets were taken at crucial intervals, and the last-over finish as well. It took the penultimate delivery of the series to decide the winner between the top two ODI sides and a lot of credit for the same goes to Sam Curran who never gave up during his unbeaten 95-run knock and the Indian bowlers, especially, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Shardul Thakur.
Earlier, after being asked to bat first, the Indian openers, Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan started off in a hurry as the visitors batted dominatingly in the last game. But just when Rohit was firing up, Adil Rashid beat him with googly, and then, England managed to get some quick wickets as they dismissed Dhawan, Virat Kohli and KL Rahul. Dhawan scored a very good half-century before being hitting one straight back to Rashid. Moeen Ali dismissed the Indian skipper while Rahul got out off a harmless full-toss.
From 103/0, India was reeling at 157/4, but Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya made sure that the run-rate doesn’t drop as they sent the English bowlers on a backfoot with their fearless batting as they made a 99-run stand. Unfortunately, both of them got out after getting to their respective half-centuries and Krunal Pandya failed to accelerate. However, Shardul Thakur added valuable 30 runs with three sixes, but India lost their last four wickets for just 8 runs to get bundled out for 329 runs in the 49th over.
Having restricted India to 329, England fancied their chances t chase it down as Jason Roy smashed 14 runs in the first over before getting cleaned up by Bhuvneshwar Kumar on the last ball of the over. In his next over, Bhuvi pinned Jonny Bairstow in front of the stumps to leave England reeling at 28/2. Ben Stokes would’ve also gone back early if Hardik Oandty hadn’t dropped a sitter.
However, T Natarajan made sure that Stokes doesn’t last long. Jos Buttler’s poor form continued which left England reeling at 95/4 in the 16th over. A 59-run stand between Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone steadied the ship but, then they lost wickets in regular intervals as they came down to 200/7 in the 31st over when Sam Curran’s catch was dropped, who later on made the most of it.
Curran reached his half-century with apt supports from Adil Rashid and Mark Wood as England needed 41 runs off the last four overs and then Shardul Thakur gave away 18 runs in the 47th over to bring the equation down to 23 off the last three overs. However, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Hardik ave away just 9 runs in the next two overs with England needing 14 in the final over. Natarajan landed his deliveries in the right areas in the 50th over as India clinched the series with a 7-run win.
Here is how netizens reacted to India’s series win:
What a game ! Unlucky Sam Curran could not pull that off after such a great knock ! Natrajan so good under pressure after such little experience!🙌🏻 congratulations team 🇮🇳 to win all 3 series ! @RishabhPant17 special knock ✊ @BhuviOfficial top spell @imShard #INDvsENG
— Yuvraj Singh (@YUVSTRONG12) March 28, 2021
Sam Curran is some talent and he nearly pulled it off for England. But in the end, Khaali haath aaye thhey, khaali haath jaayenge England waale. Good win for Team India but across formats this has been a well fought series. #INDvsENG pic.twitter.com/haA3krhgHw
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) March 28, 2021
— Azhar Mahmood (@AzharMahmood11) March 28, 2021
— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) March 28, 2021
India made two important course corrections from last match. They didn’t obsess over wickets preservation in the first 30 overs. Got 64 runs more in that period today! And yes, they also put Moeen under pressure.
— Sanjay Manjrekar (@sanjaymanjrekar) March 28, 2021
The whole Tour of India has been great to watch … tremendous skills,lots of drama,bit of controversy & plenty of talking points … Bloody love cricket … #INDvsENG
— Michael Vaughan (@MichaelVaughan) March 28, 2021
What a game!! What a series!! Some of the batting power and skill levels from both teams has been unbelievable!!! #INDvENG 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼
— Ian Bell (@Ian_Bell) March 28, 2021
Big thumps up to @Natarajan_91 for keeping his nerves and bowling those yorkers. Way to go young man
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) March 28, 2021
— Russel Arnold (@RusselArnold69) March 28, 2021
What a way to finish the series! Top knock, Sam Curran, but india just about managed to sneak home. A fitting end to a remarkable four and a half months for this indian side that should be proud of everything it has achieved! #INDvsENG
— VVS Laxman (@VVSLaxman281) March 28, 2021
Congratulations #TeamIndia for a clinical series win. You fought like warriors, conquered every challenge thrown at you and won the series. Witnessed some world-class cricket throughout by both the teams @BCCI #INDvsENG
— Suresh Raina🇮🇳 (@ImRaina) March 28, 2021
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) March 28, 2021