Inspired by Joe Root's highest ODI score of 113, England's cricket team finally managed to comfortably win a one day international match against India by 41 runs on Friday at Headingley. Sadly for them, it was a case of too little too late to have an influence on the series, as they were already three nil down to their opponents by then, but represented a welcome boost at the end of a disappointing set of results in the 50 over format.
England were riding high after defeating India 3-1 in the Test series but their inadequacies were highlighted once again when they turned their attention to one day cricket. Indeed, prior to the Leeds' match there had only been one team in it as India had heavily defeated their opponents each time, with one game washed out.
England's win was heavily based around Root's innings and a century stand for the fifth wicket. They also benefitted from a more positive start as captain Alastair Cook scored a brisk 46. Heavy scoring in the batting powerplay ensured the momentum was maintained throughout the innings as England posted 294-7, with impressive knocks from Jos Buttler (49) and a quickfire 33 from only 23 deliveries by Ben Stokes. India were always on the back foot when they batted and Stokes' return of three wickets ensured they fell well short in the run chase, despite a battling effort by Jadeja of 87.
At least England's win in the final match gives them something to work on, but it seems clear that many pundits and ex England players believe that captain Cook should now step aside. That would enable him to focus his efforts on the Test arena with another Ashes series against the Aussies on the horizon, to leave the shorter game to others and perhaps allow a more expansive approach to develop ahead of next year's one day World Cup. That could allow the likes of Ravi Bopara or Adil Rashid to come into the team to give more options, but the captaincy is still an area of uncertainty.
Eoin Morgan is tipped by many pundits as the best man to lead the one day team going forward, but his own recent form in the limited over game does not suggest his place in the eleven is guaranteed, although he has shown good form Down Under in one day matches previously so could be one to profit on the pitches likely for the World Cup.
England will celebrate this win at least as a welcome "breather" from the three previous defeats and a repeat in the T20 match at Edgbaston against the same opposition on Sunday would not go amiss.