India’s win-bubble bursts as they lose ODI series to England

By Kersi Meher-Homji

Until a week ago, Indian cricketers were going great guns, beating England 2-1 in T20 Internationals and winning the first One Day International (ODI) by 8 wickets with spectacular batting by Rohit Sharma and skipper Rohit Kohli and mystery spin bowling by Kuldeep Yadav.

Critics were predicting that India will win the World Cup in England next year.

Then India’s slide began at Lord’s, London on 14th  July and reached rock bottom at Leeds last night as they lost the ODI series 1-2.

As I watched the match on TV last night I crooned the  Anmol Ghadi  song,  “Socha tha kya, kya ho gaya, kya ho gaya.” and film Pyaasa’s,   “Hamne to jab kaliya mangi kanto ka haar mila.”  [What we aspired and what happened? We wanted flowers and received a garland of thorns.]

On a high, India lost by 86 runs at Lord’s and by 8 wickets at Leeds in the third and final ODI. In both these matches England’s majestic batsman Joe Root scored unbeaten centuries, 113 and 100 to become a worthy Man of the Series.

Full credit to England.

The paradox of the final ODI was that England’s spinners Adil Rashid and Moeen Ali flourished while Indian spinners Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal floundered.

Losing captain Virat Kohli appeared dispirited after India’s two big losses in three days, saying, “India is not ready for the World Cup. Not yet.” He believes his team has quite a few questions to answer between now and the 2019 World Cup. He added that India needed to pick up their performances in the next 12 months.

The consolation for India: During this depressing series India’s MS Dhoni became the second wicket-keeper after Sri Lanka’s Kumar Sangakkara to score over 10,000 runs and make over 400 dismissals in ODIs.

Sangakkara scored 14,234 runs and made 482 dismissals in 404 ODIs. Dhoni is next with 10,046 runs and 407 dismissals in 321 ODIs.



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