The Indian unit, coming into the fixture after a magnificent comeback in the first ODI, were put in to bat first once again after stand-in captain Jos Buttler called the right side of the coin as well. Rishabh Pant was slotted into the side for the injured Shreyas Iyer, who faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines. Meanwhile, England introduced three changes to the lineup that were defeated in the previous contest. Eoin Morgan, Sam Billings and Mark Wood paved way for Dawid Malan, debutant Liam Livingstone and Reece Topley.
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan struggled early on against the left-arm new-ball pairing of Curran and Topley. The latter, in particular, was able to proficiently swing the ball and extract some bounce off the surface. His efforts were rewarded as Dhawan edged one right to slip for just 4 after facing 17 deliveries.
The Hitman departed soon as well after hitting a flurry of boundaries. He found the fielder at short fine-leg and departed for 25. KL Rahul, moving ahead at No.4 in the absence of Iyer, began the rebuild after the dismissals of the openers. The first powerplay yielded 41 runs at the expense of 2 wickets.
India slowly clawed their way back into the contest with the help of an old school partnership between the skipper and Rahul. The 121-run stand majorly consisted of singles and doubles but was integral in setting up a platform. Adil Rashid, who was surprisingly introduced late into the attack, was able to claim the prized scalp of Kohli. The ace batsman's wait for a century prolonged after yet again unusually failing to convert a fifty into a three-figured mark.
The hosts amassed 126 runs off in the final ten overs with KL Rahul announcing his return back to form with a sublime century while Rishabh Pant survived a couple of horror calls from the umpire to record his highest ODI score as well. Riding on the wicket-keeper batsmen's knocks of 108 and 77, and a brisk cameo by Hardik Pandya, India were able to set a target of 337 for the visitors.
England were once again able to generate a strong start banking on the ever-reliable pair of Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow. India's disappointing powerplay bowling prolonged as they found themselves without an early strike yet again. The fluent 110-run opening stand was ended by a brilliant piece of fielding from the Hitman which affected a run-out.
Ben Stokes, coming in at No.3, joined forces with the settled Bairstow to negotiate the middle overs. While last time around, the side lost their way during this phase and slipped to defeat, this time they played it to perfection.
Indian spinners were far from their best with poor economy and accuracy. The left-handed all-rounder punished them with sixes and Bairstow registered his 11th century at the other end. Ben Stokes missed out on a hundred after being dismissed for 99. But England's 20 sixes helped them to a win despite a mini-collapse in the middle.
Both sides will contest in the final match of the tour to decide the series before moving on to the IPL.
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