England went down 2-1 to India in a thrilling ODI series, in which both sides set the record for the most aggregate runs ever in a three-match series. Here’s how England’s players fared.
Jason Roy – 8
A very consistent series for Roy. So often the man who sets the tempo in England’s innings, he did not fail to disappoint in this series. Scores of 73, 82 and 65 represent a fluency that is apparent in his batting at the moment. Roy is a joy to watch as he plays conventional cricket shots with such ease and style. His runs at the top of the order were key to England passing 300 on every occasion. Though he will be frustrated that he failed to convert at least one of those scores into a match-winning hundred – an area he will look to improve in the future.
Alex Hales – 3
Scored just 23 runs in his two matches before having to leave the tour with a broken hand. Despite showing how destructive he can be at his very best before this series, this time around Hales looked nervy against the Indian pacemen and was at times playing far away from his body. It is a stark contrast to his opening partner, Roy, who was very compact and played shots with good control. And with Sam Billings proving a good option as opener, Hales will be anxious about his spot in the side for the future.
Joe Root – 7
England’s premier batsman looked as fluent as ever during the series. He cruised to 78 and 54 in Pune and Cuttack respectively, using his solid technique and experience to combat India’s attack and lay the platform for his side’s big totals. However, yet again Root failed to convert starts into hundreds, as was the case in the Test series, and his profligate dismissal in the second ODI partly cost England the chance to chase down 382. Still, two solid displays from Root.
Eoin Morgan – 7
After looking worryingly out of touch in the warm-up matches, Morgan came back to life in this series. His superb century at Cuttack gave England a real sniff of pulling off an incredible run chase, only for the England captain to be run out in the final over. It looked like the real Morgan again, with his hitting as clean as it has been in a long time in an England shirt. He got a start at Kolkata, too, before a cheap dismissal ended his knock at 43.
Jos Buttler – 5
After getting starts in all three matches, Buttler failed to make the match-winning contributions that have earned him the reputation as one of the world’s most dangerous batsmen. The extra pace of the likes of Hardik Pandya and Buvneshwar Kumar caused him problems as he was unable to get his big shots away. Just 52 runs in the series represents a missed opportunity. Kept very neatly and hung on to some vital catches at Kolkata to set back India’s chase of 322.
Ben Stokes – 7
Stokes looked at his brutal best at Pune and Kolkata. Both knocks of 62 and 57 not out gave England excellent momentum to not only make sure his side’s platform was not wasted but also pushed them to very competitive scores. Stokes’s strike rate of 146.34 was the highest of any player to score more than 50 runs in this series. Despite going at a heavy economy rate of 7.41 with the ball, the all-rounder still managed to chip in with key wickets. This was especially evident in Kolkata, where he took 3-63, bowled brilliantly at the death and in the process banished the demons of Carlos Brathwaite and the World T20 final at the same ground around nine months ago.
Moeen Ali – 5
The role of coming in at seven and attempting to add quick runs – far different to what he was doing in the Test matches – did not seem to suit Moeen. He did score an impressive 55 in the second game, however, as he combined with Morgan to lift England from 206-5 to 299-5 and give his side a chance in the huge chase of 382. Looked very ineffective with the ball, failing to take a wicket from 20.1 overs in the series, though he showed improvement at Kolkata where his eight overs for 41 proved important in restraining India’s batsmen, who gave him plenty of punishment in games one and two.
Chris Woakes – 7
Was certainly England’s best bowler in the series. Woakes bowled with good pace and extracted plenty of bounce, often troubling India’s top order. In Cuttack, he looked on song, reducing the home side to 25-3 and ending up with four wickets. Woakes ended up as the highest wicket-taker on either side and was one of just two bowlers in the series to average under 30 with the ball. After being hit for a six and a four by Kedar Jadhav in the final over in Kolkata, the paceman held his nerve and bowled a brilliant last three balls to seal victory for his side. Also chipped in with a timely 34 in the same match as he and Stokes lifted England to 321.
Liam Plunkett – 4
Despite bowling with his usual pace and hostility, Plunkett received plenty of tap from India’s batsmen. His economy rate of 7.80 was the second-worst of any bowler in the series to take three wickets or more. The 31-year-old lacked variation and failed to fire in enough yorkers when Yuvraj and MS Dhoni were on song in Cuttack. Always useful with the bat and his 26 not out in the same match nearly got England over the line.
David Willey – 6
Willey’s main strength is doing damage up front with the new ball and in that sense, the left-armer did a good job. In the first match at Pune, Willey took two early wickets to reduce India to 24-2 and in Kolkata he removed Ajinkya Rahane with a cracking inswinging delivery. He managed to find enough swing to trouble the batsmen in relatively unhelpful bowling conditions and that is a big positive. However, there is uncertainty around his role in the side after those first few overs – he bowled only 13 in the whole series – and perhaps should have been used more by captain Eoin Morgan.
Jake Ball – 5
Ball produced a promising yet inconsistent series. On a positive note, he bowled with good pace, even better energy and was the joint-second highest wicket-taker in the series with five scalps. What is concerning with the Notts paceman at the moment, however, is that fact that he is too predictable with his lengths and lacks enough variation – an issue Liam Plunkett is also suffering from. If Ball can improve that part of his game in the coming months, he could be a very effective one-day bowler for England.
Sam Billings – 4
Was brought in as a replacement for the injured Alex Hales for the final ODI after some good recent form in the Big Bash. Batted intelligently in Kolkata, putting on 98 for the first wicket with Jason Roy and looked well-suited to the role at the top of the order. Was unfortunate to get out for 30 as he reverse-swept Ravindra Jadeja straight to short third man – the only man in that vicinity.
Jonny Bairstow – 5
Like Billings, Bairstow was brought in for the Kolkata ODI, this time to replace Joe Root in the number three spot. Bairstow impressed, hitting 56 and adding 84 with Morgan in the middle overs. Yet Bairstow has had a problem converting starts into hundreds recently and would have been disappointed to give a catch to backward point just when England were looking to up the scoring rate.
Adil Rashid – 2
Rashid only played in Pune and it was not a match he will want to remember in a hurry. The Yorkshire man went for 50 off his five overs and failed to find any consistency with his lengths. Virat Kohli and Kedar Jadhav found things all too easy against him and Rashid will want to find his form sooner rather than later with the Champions Trophy on the horizon.