It is a win that the fans of Team India will remember for ages. This is a century that will be celebrated for years to come. It is a partnership that will be regarded as one of the best in Indian ODI cricket history.
Rishabh Pant ended India’s 2022 tour of England just like he started. Except that his 146 and 57 failed to prevent India from losing in the fifth Test at Edgbaston, the 24-year-old’s brilliant, unfinished 125 (113b, 16×4, 2×6), along with Hardik Pandya’s excellent all-round show (71, 55b,). 10×4, and 4-24 in seven overs) helped the Men-in-Blue pull off a heist as they beat England by five wickets in the third and deciding ODI at Old Trafford, Manchester on Sunday.
Pant and Pandya’s magic enabled India to win the ODI series 2-1, which meant that after losing the Test, they bounced back superbly to beat England in the white ball leg of the tour-having won the T20Is 2-1 too. India’s fabulous win on Sunday ended their horror run against England in ODIs at Old Trafford in Manchester – this is now their first win over the hosts here since the 1983 World Cup semifinal.
Few would have given India a chance when they suffered another top-order collapse and slipped to 38 for three in the ninth over as
Shikhar Dhawan(1), skipper Rohit Sharma(17) and the out-of-form Virat Kohli(17) all succumbed to England’s left-arm pacer Recce Topley. While Dhawan sliced the ball to point, Rohit edged Topley to first slip, and Kohli rounded off a career-threatening tour for him by nicking behind a typical left-arm seamer’s ball angled across him.
It was 72 for four in the 16th over when Pant and Pandya joined forces and the duo led the team’s unbelievable fightback.
The match-winning 133-run partnership in just 115 balls for the fifth wicket between the two completely changed the course of the game in the visitors’ favour.
In the end, Pant was a man in a hurry, as he smashed 75 of his last 42 balls, including five consecutive fours off David Willey in the 42nd over.
England skipper Jos Buttler would find it hard to forgive himself after missing a simple chance off a sharply turning Moeen Ali delivery to stump Pant when the batsman was on just 18, in the 16th over. The mistake cost England both the game and the series.
Pandya joined a rare group of five players who’ve taken four wickets and scored a fifty in an ODI for India. Thriving on the hard length, Pandya took a career-best haul with his incisive medium-pace bowling, before leggie Yuzvendra Chahal (3-60) mopped up the tail, but England still clawed their way to a decent 259 all out in 45.5 overs.
Finding generous bounce on a hard pitch, India’s pacers, missing their ‘leader’ Jasprit Bumrah due to back spasms the world No 1 bowler suffered just before the game, unleashed the barrage of short-pitched deliveries. Pandya used the angle of the ground well to dismiss Liam Livingstone and Buttler. He also used the short ball to get rid of Jason Roy and Ben Stokes.