Taking to his official Twitter account post England’s emphatic win, VVS Laxman had words of praise for the batting duo of Jonny Bairstow (124) and Ben Stokes (99). He posted in this regard:
“Absolute carnage this from Bairstow and Stokes. Power hitting of the highest quality.”
He, however, added in the same tweet that Team India will have to put their thinking caps on for the final ODI, opining:
“Lot to ponder for Team India. Using only five bowlers against this batting lineup too risky?? Series nicely poised. #INDvENG.”
Chasing 337, England got off to a terrific start as Bairstow and Jason Roy (55) featured in their second century partnership in a row. After Roy was run out following a bad mix-up, Bairstow was joined by Stokes at the crease.
The Bairstow-Stokes pair added 175 for the second wicket as Team India bowlers were rendered completely ineffective. Stokes whacked ten sixes in his brutal 99, while Bairstow cleared the ropes seven times during his innings.
Although England's stand-in captain Jos Buttler was dismissed for a duck, debutant Liam Livingstone guided the team home with an unbeaten 27 off 21 balls. He hit consecutive sixes in an over from Bhuvneshwar Kumar to make his mark in the game.
Never had a chance during Stokes-Bairstow partnership: Team India captain Virat Kohli
Giving credit to Stokes and Bairstow, Team India captain Virat Kohli said that the duo just did not given his team any chance to compete in the match. He said in this regard:
"I think we set up quite a decent total. It was going to be challenging if we stayed in the game for long periods. We started off well with the new ball, with our lines and lengths, but England found a way to hang on and got a century partnership. We did falter a bit at times, but mostly, that was some of the best hitting that you'll ever see. We never had a chance during their partnership (Stokes-Bairstow), that's how good they were."
Kohli added that Team India bowlers could have executed their plans better.
"Don't think dew was much of a factor. Maybe the wicket settled a bit better, but that's no excuse. We just defended a score two days ago. Tonight was a case of lack of execution at certain stages, but they didn't give us anything. It's rare to play at such a high strike-rate and not give any chances," he added.
The decider of the three-match series will be played in Pune on Sunday, March 28.