Team India will surely be a bit disappointed after wasting another good start as they ended up getting bundled out for 329 in 48.2 overs in the third and final ODI against England in Pune on Sunday. The team were going strong at one moment and it looked like they would go on to eclipse the 350-run mark, however, a sharp catch by England skipper Jos Buttler to dismiss Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya’s cheeky shot selection, which saw him lose his wicket, change the course of the game.
Hardik, who scored a brilliant 64 off just 44 balls, also agreed that India fell at least 30-40 runs short and admitted his and Pant’s dismissal were key moments in helping the visitors bounce back in the contest.
“We don’t have much option. At one point, we thought of 360 but myself and Rishabh got out at the wrong time, otherwise, it would’ve been a different story. I don’t think it was much different, just simple cricket, we backed ourselves and we have done it many times. We didn’t get what we expected for the team, we would’ve added a few more had we batted for long but we have to be okay with whatever we have got. We need to bowl proper balls and make it difficult for them. We just have to be smart, I feel if we bowl in the right areas, we have a chance,” Hardik said during the mid-innings break.
After being invited to bat first by Buttler, the Indian opening pair comprising Shikhar Dhawan and Rohit Sharma helped hosts get off to a solid start. The duo added 103 runs for the first wicket inside 15 overs, before Rohit was cleaned up by Adil Rashid on 37 from the same number of balls.
Rashid then went on to send Dhawan soon after Rohit’s dismissal in the 17th over.
Virat Kohli and KL Rahul failed to get going but a crucial 99-run partnership got India back on track as hosts breached the 200-run mark well inside 30 overs. However, the visitors bounced back in the contest as they dismissed both the settled batsmen – Pant and Pandya – in quick succession.
Following their dismissal Shardul Thakur took charge and went on to play a cameo of 30 from 21 balls, which included three massive sixes. Krunal Pandya, who had a rousing ODI debut, felt lacklustre on Sunday as the batsman struggled to get his timing right, which eventually led to his dismissal.
Mark Wood then led England’s recovery as he first dismissed Shardul Thakur and went on to remove Krunal on 25 off 34 balls, Prasidh Krishna (0) in quick succession. Reece Topley then completed the formalities as he picked up the final Indian wicket in the form of Bhuvneshwar Kumar to restrict India to a fighting 329 in 48.2 overs.