Leeds: England captain Eoin Morgan says his team was simply “clinical” in the series-clinching win over India in the third and final ODI here, a feat that was achieved after quickly learning from the “mistakes” committed in the first two games.
India lost by eight wickets as England rode on Joe Root’s 13th ODI century to chase down a target of 257 in 44.3 overs last night. The series ended 2-1 in the home team’s favour.
“We started poorly. As the series has gone on we have improved. It is a benefit of playing a bilateral series,” Morgan said in the post-match press conference.
“That constant improvement has been brilliant since Trent Bridge. Today I thought it was clinical, right from the get go. Mark Wood got the ball swinging with David Willey for three or four overs and India never seemed to get away from us from there,” he added.
Root and Morgan were involved in an unbeaten 186-run partnership. It was the second consecutive hundred for Root after his effort at the Lord’s, and it puts him in good stead for the five-Test series beginning on August 1.
“I think it is extremely encouraging (for the Test series). The composure he’s shown, particularly in the last two games, is the Joe Root we know and trust.
“He’s been outstanding even when he’s been low on runs, around the group he’s been the same guy, hungry for runs and hopefully that continues for the rest of the summer,” Morgan said.
With yesterday’s knock, Root went top of the list among English batsmen to score ODI hundreds.
When asked if he was the best in that list, Morgan replied, “I think it’s difficult to say because we’ve guys that were halfway through their careers that have huge potential that can be as good as Joe, or even be better, or have more contributions.
“If it’s not the next World Cup, it will be the next. Guys in their late 20s and mid-to-late 20s can still contribute as much as Joe has done. (But) He’s an absolutely unbelievable cricketer.”
Root was instrumental in the manner England contended with Kuldeep Yadav since the Lord’s game. Ever since regaining his composure against wrist spin, Root drove England to victory in the latter games of this series.
“It’s hard for me to compare red ball and white ball because it’s different picking the seam on the ball. I’m very proud of the way we’ve improved throughout. But Kuldeep hasn’t played that many games, I’m sure they’ll come back with something different.
“Adil Rashid has been at the top of his game for the last few years but he’s made unbelievable changes, fractional changes, variations and he reads the game well,” Morgan opined.
In this battle for bragging rights as the best ODI side currently, England have come out on top and are now ranked favourites for the 2019 World Cup.
Morgan said the challenge will be to maintain consistency until the 2019 World Cup after beating India 2-1 in the three-match series.
“…be better at dealing with them (the challenges) from the start as opposed to making big mistakes and then improving on them as we go along. The World Cup is 10 games. I presume by the time the last group stage game is played it will be the best four teams topping the group.
“One of the disadvantages is you play a different team every time and that’s hard to replicate. The challenge will be trying to show the consistency that we’ve had and continue that hunger to improve. We have a lot of white-ball cricket leading into the World Cup,” he signed off.