Indian fashion designers Shardul Thakur and Bhuvneshwar Kumar captured seven wickets between them to help the hosts beat England by seven points in a thrilling third one-day international on Sunday and win the Series 2-1.
The 330 England chase appeared almost over when they were reduced to 257-8 in the 40th but Sam Curran and Mark Wood, who made it 14, kept their side in the chase with a stubborn 60 point stand for the ninth window.
Versatile Curran, who was dropped in 22nd and then again in 87th, remained unbeaten with a career record of 95, but failed to reach the required 14 points in the final with England ending in 322-9.
“Kudos guys for holding on and having an unforgettable season in the toughest times in all formats and hemispheres against 2 of the best teams in the world. Bow down,” Shastri tweeted.
On a sweltering day in the western Indian city of Pune, the hosts were sacked for 329 after being batted with Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya scoring half centuries.
The goal didn’t look too big for England, who chased 337 with 39 deliveries remaining in the previous game, but Kumar’s early breakthroughs put the hosts on top.
Kumar, who picked up 3-42, got the new ball to move through the air and fired workers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow on the cheap and almost got his third but Pandya dropped a skier from Ben Stokes, with left-handed drummer on 15.
Stokes, who also survived a short-term chance on the 24th, sank into the depths for 35 on a harmless pitch from T. Natarajan, who was called upon to win the final.
Thakur picked up the wickets of Dawid Malan, who made 50, dangerous Liam Livingstone and England captain Jos Buttler to derail England’s pursuit. He finished with 4-67.
Dhawan, who scored 67, and Rohit Sharma earlier combined in an opening stand of 103 to give India a good start before leg thrower Adil Rashid sacked them in successive overs.
Spinner off Moeen Ali then threw the ball sharply back into Virat Kohli to sack the Indian skipper for seven years and the hosts looked in trouble when KL Rahul also fell inexpensively to part-time spinner Livingstone soon after.
India ended up at 157-4 inside 25 overs but Pant and Pandya then backed up the innings with a 99 counterattack, helping the team reach a competitive total.
Pant hit five fours and four sixes in his career best shot in the 50 plus format while Pandya smashed five fours and four sixes, three of them in an over off from Moeen.
Fast bowler Wood took three wickets in the finals as India was eliminated with 10 deliveries remaining up their innings.
“I’ve always said that a captain is always as good as the team and that he has a great team under him. He has two terrific opening batsmen; the middle order is very good. He has a bowling attack which has a lot of variety. It has an exceptional commissioning unit. He has a wicket keeper who is very good and can come in order to hit and hit the bowling alley, ”Gavaskar told Star Sports.
“So the full balance of the team has been fantastic. And when you have something like that, you will win more matches than you will lose. And that’s exactly what’s happening. Not everyone will be able to realize their potential, ”Gavaskar explained.
“In a game of cricket, it’s not the XI players who are going to be successful, but if four players are successful, say two at bowling and as many at batting, then you are going to win more games than lose. India have fabulous bat and ball game winners and that is reflected in the results.