The ODI series between the two top-ranked sides in the worlds didn’t fail to entertain. Each of the three games were littered with world-class performances with bat and ball and eventually, the only thing that separated the two sides was the final Natarajan over. Both sides would have learnt a lot about their respective teams ahead of the T20I World Cup in October and many new players proved their mettle at the very highest level. There were some incredible displays from both teams are here are the top performers of the series.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar: 9/10
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was back to his very best in this series as he returned from injury. Bhuvneshwar bowled with great control and skill at the top and got the ball swinging both ways. His opening spell in the 3rd ODI was game-changing as he was able to dismiss both English openers Bairstow and Roy and expose the inexperienced English middle order. The telling statistic that shows Kumar’s class is that in a series where 300 runs were scored for fun, Bhuvneshwar Kumar ended up with an economy rate of 4.66 across his 29 overs.
Jonny Bairstow: 8.5/10
While Bairstow’s red ball form off late has been indifferent, he is at the peak of his powers in the 50-over format and is without a doubt one of the best ODI batsmen in the world. Bairstow’s 219 runs in the three games at a strike rate of 120 won him the man of the series award and he and Jason Roy formed a formidable partnership at the top of the order that took the attack to the Indian bowlers from ball one.
Shardul Thakur: 7.5/10
Shardul Thakur has developed an uncanny knack of taking wickets at crucial intervals for India and provided Virat Kohli with the crucial breakthroughs in the 1st and 3rd ODI’s to help India take the victory. Thakur ended the series as the highest wicket-taker (7) and used his arsenal of variations and slower balls to good effect on pitches that were tailor-made for batting.
Rishabh Pant: 8/10
Rishabh Pant forced his way into the team following Shreyas Iyer’s injury and scored two fantastic counter-attacking centuries that made his omission from the 1st ODI all the more intriguing. Pant scored 78 and 77 runs in the 2nd and 3rd ODI’s but more importantly had a strike rate of 150 across both innings and batted with great intent that took the attack to the bowlers and helped India achieve a par score above 300 in both games. His keeping has also improved significantly recently and was almost faultless behind the stumps in the final two ODI’s.
Sam Curran: 7/10
Sam Curran didn’t get many chances with the bat or ball across the three games but proved his worth to the World Champions with the series on the line. Curran played an extraordinary innings (95*) in the third and final ODI to take England to the brink of victory after they were reeling at 168-6 in their chase of 330. Curran also bowled well in the powerplay for the visitors and ended the series with a respectable economy rate of 6.27, the lowest amongst England’s fast bowling quartet.