England fail to fire as India dish out 10-wicket hammering

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Four of England’s top order were sent packing for ducks (AFP via Getty Images)
Four of England’s top order were sent packing for ducks (AFP via Getty Images)

England were blown away for 110 as a reunion of their first-choice batting line-up fell flat in a thumping 10-wicket defeat to India.

After three years of being kept apart by a combination of Covid-19 protocols, squad rotation and availability, England were able to put five of their top six from the 2019 World Cup triumph back together – with recently retired skipper Eoin Morgan the only absentee.

But a return to 50-over duty for Test captain Ben Stokes and in-form pair Jonny Bairstow and Joe Root could not stop a rampant India, who shredded a formidable-looking batting order in just 25.2 overs then watched their openers knock off the runs in 18.4.

Four of England’s top order were sent packing for ducks, with Jason Roy, Root, Stokes and Liam Livingstone all failing to score, effectively wrecking the game as a contest.

India seamer Jasprit Bumrah returned a career-best haul of six for 19, topping and tailing the innings, with the England attack looking toothless by comparison as Rohit Sharma’s dominant 76 and Shikhar Dhawan’s 31 finished things decisively.

With muggy conditions and a green track, Rohit opted to bowl first and did not have long to wait for Bumrah to get things moving.

Roy got away with one mistimed drive but not a second, dragging down his stumps as he pursued a ball from well outside off.

That brought Root to the crease, with an open invitation to anchor the innings in his usual methodical manner, but he lasted just two balls.

Looking to access his favourite scoring area towards third man he played away from his body and grazed a lifter from Bumrah for the first of three catches for Rishabh Pant.

In came Stokes, no stranger to a crisis, but his first ODI innings in a year lasted exactly one delivery.

Mohammed Shami attacked from round the wicket, jagged it in hard off the seam and clipped the inside edge. It still needed a sharp diving catch down the leg side, but Pant obliged.

The trio of zeros on the scorecard told a sorry tale for England, with back-to-back boundaries off Jos Buttler’s first two balls barely even registering.

Bairstow had seen the chaos unfold from the non-striker’s end but was soon an active participant.

Fresh from a career-best run of red-ball form, he wafted at the relentless Bumrah and was gone for seven as Pant dived in front of slip to make it 17 for four.

The worst dismissal was still to come, Livingstone trying to force his way through the tricky situation by charging Bumrah. He overcommitted, overbalanced and left his stumps fatally exposed in an ugly exit.

Moeen Ali was spared the fate of becoming England’s fifth duck when a half-chance evaded the wicketkeeper, but it was not long before he fed a low return catch to Prasidh Krishna.

England were burning through their options in a hurry and lost their last best hope when Buttler top-edged Shami to deep square.

He had been relatively immune until then, top-scoring with 30 at almost a run a ball.

When Shami bowled Craig Overton to make it 68 for eight, a new record appeared to be incoming, but David Willey (21) and Brydon Carse shared a risky stand of 35 to break the hundred barrier.

Bumrah returned to see off both, leaving the openers with a simple task.

They almost started with a run out off the first ball of the innings, but that was a red herring as Sharma and Dhawan progressed with ease.

Willey was pulled for an early six by the skipper, the first of five maximums launched over the ropes as England unwisely fed his favourite shot.

Reece Topley suffered after a change of ends, struggling to settle on a line or length and shipping 16 in his third over, while Overton’s tepid four-over spell cost 34.

Rohit was flexing now, easing Carse for 18 in an over as he repeatedly dropped short and paid the price.

India sprinted over the line, leaving the fans 334 balls short and the advertised day/night match barely stretching into early evening.

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