India’s powerful batting line-up faltered completely in a competitive chase after Joe Root returned to form with a classy ton to guide England to a series-levelling 86-run win in the second ODI of the three-match rubber at Lord’s on Saturday.
Following the win, England have levelled the series 1-1 after India had won the first ODI by eight wickets at Nottingham.
England captain Eoin Morgan was bang on target with the toss as he decided to bat first after winning the toss on a wicket that slowed down as time passed by.
Root responded to his captain’s call and returned to form with a classy 113 off 166 balls, his 12th century of career, to steer England to a competitive 322 for seven.
He was ably supported by skipper Morgan (53 off 51 balls) and all-rounder David Willey (50 no off 31 balls).
Left-arm wrist spinner Kuldeep Yadav (3/68) was again the most successful bowler while Umesh Yadav, Yuzvendra Chahal and Hardik Pandya picked up a wicket apiece.
But India never got going while chasing the target. Barring an 80-run fourth wicket stand between skipper Virat Kohli (45) and Suresh Raina (46), all other batsmen struggled as the visitors were bundled out for 236.
Rohit Sharma (15) and Shikhar Dhawan (36) shared 49 runs for the opening stand before both perished in successive overs to put India on the back foot.
While Kohli was adjudged LBW to Moeen Ali, Raina was cleaned up by leg-spinner Adil Rashid few overs later.
From there on, it was a difficult task for the rest of batsmen and veteran Mahendra Singh Dhoni (37) too struggled to rotate the strike scoring his runs off 59 balls.
Plunkett picked up four wicket for England giving away 46 runs, while Willey (2/48) and Rashid (2/38) shared four wickets between them.
Earlier, Jason Roy (40) and Jonny Bairstow (38) provided a quick start to England’s innings as they put on 69 for the opening wicket off 62 balls.
Kuldeep bowled Bairstow as the batsman went for a sweep and the ball hit the stumps after ricocheting off his pads.
England were then reduced to 86 for 2 as Kuldeep picked up his second wicket in 12 balls as Roy was caught in the deep trying to clear the fence.
Even as 200 came up in the 33rd over, England slumped from 189 for 2 to 203 for 4 in the 34th over.
Umesh and Pandya provided a double blow in the form of Ben Stokes (5) and in-form Jos Buttler (4), both of whom were caught behind the wicket by Dhoni, who became the fourth wicket keeper to complete 300 ODI catches after Adam Gilchrist (417), Mark Boucher (403) and Kumar Sangakkara (402).
The series decider will be played at Leeds on July 17.