The final game of the international leg for India carved out to be a decider to determine the fate of the ODI series. Conquering England in the rest of the formats, the Indian team were up against the number one ranked side and the current world champions in the third ODI.
Virat Kohli lost the toss for the third time in the series and was once again sent in to bat by stand-in skipper Jos Buttler. The visitors brought back Mark Wood for the clash in place of Tom Curran. India, on the other hand, opted to leave out under-fire Kuldeep Yadav for an extra pace in the form of T Natarajan,
Unlike the last contest, India were able to endure the powerplay phase with conviction. Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan took the attack to the English pacers and racked up 64 runs in the first 10 overs. The opening pair were also able to bring up the 5000 run mark while opening the innings together and register their 17th hundred run stand in the format.
Spinners chimed in to make an impact in the middle overs. Adil Rashid scalped the wicket of both the openers, who failed to read the googly. While the Hirman was castled, Dhawan had to depart after a fifty off a soft dismissal.
Virat Kohli was bowled by a delivery that turned extra on a surface that hardly displayed sharp turn. Moeen Ali was able to send the Indian skipper back to the pavilion for just 7. Meanwhile, a full toss by part-timer Liam Livingstone got the wicket of KL Rahul.
Struggling at 157-4 at the halfway mark at the helm of the spinners, aggressive batsmen Pant and Pandya put up a counter-attacking clinic. The wicket-keeper batsman's 78 off 62 and the all-rounder's 64 off 44 avoided a potential collapse, but their untimely departures left the tail too much to do in the end. Despite handy knocks by Shardul Thakur and Krunal Pandya, India were bundled out with ten balls to spare with 329 on the board.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar bowled a gem of a first spell to send both the openers back into the hut inside three overs. Roy's vulnerability against the inswing was on display yet again while Bairstow was trapped in front.
Hardik Pandya's dropped catch gave Stokes a second life, but the all-rounder failed to make the most of it and ultimately fell to a harmless fulltoss by Natarajan. India were able to strike at regular intervals and reduced the visitors for 168-7 with Thakur decimating the middle order.
England's deep batting order came into the picture and denied India a comfortable victory. Numerous drop catches and erratic bowling enabled the chasing side to take the game deep. Sam Curran registered the highest score by a batsman at No.8 by surviving till the end for 95.
However, the all-rounder ran out of support and could not handle the increasing run rate. As a result, India secured a narrow 7-run victory to claim the series 2-1.
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