Rohit Sharma Becomes 3rd Indian Skipper After MS Dhoni And Mohammad Azharuddin To Win An ODI Bilateral Series In England

Rohit Sharma-led India became just the third side to win an away ODI series in England since 2015. They had even claimed the preceding T20I series by a 2-1 margin.

A blistering century by Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya’s all-round heroics guided India to a five-wicket win in the third and final ODI against England at Old Trafford. With a comprehensive victory in the series decider, the visiting side also recorded a 2-1 series success against the reigning 50-over world champions. Chasing 260 to win the series-deciding third ODI, India reached their target with five wickets in hand and 47 balls to spare.

Hardik Pandya, Rohit Sharma (Credits: Twitter)

Rohit Sharma Becomes 3rd Indian Skipper To Win ODI Bilateral Series In England

With the white-ball series triumph, Rohit Sharma became the first Indian captain to win both ODI and T20I series in England. India’s first ODI series win was under Mohammad Azharuddin in 1990 before MS Dhoni emulated the feat in 2014. Rohit Sharma has now joined the elite panel comprising the two former skippers. He is now the third Indian captain to win the ODI bilateral series in England.

Rohit Sharma also flaunts an impressive 81.25 win percent as the India captain in ODI cricket. His percentages in T20I and Test format are 83.87 and 100, respectively.

India men’s captain winning an ODI series in England: Mohd. Azharuddin (1990), MS Dhoni (2014), Rohit Sharma (2022)*

MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)
MS Dhoni (Image Credit: Twitter)

During the T20I series prior to the 50-over duel, Rohit Sharma became the only captain in the history of T20 cricket to have won 14 matches in a row, extending his earlier run of 13 wins on the trot. He began the 14-match winning streak with the series against Bangladesh and went on to defeat New Zealand, West Indies, Sri Lanka, and England.

A delighted Rohit Sharma said that the team will look to develop the bench strength in the lead-up to this year’s World T20 in Australia.

“We came here and wanted to achieve something as a group in white-ball cricket and I thought that we achieved a fair bit,” he said at the presentation ceremony.

“We want to create bench strength as injuries are bound to happen. Have got some solid guys who will get their opportunity in the West Indies,” he added.

Back in 1990, India won their first-ever ODI series on English soil under the leadership of Mohammad Azharuddin. Several years later, it was MS Dhoni who emulated the feat in 2014. Mohammad Azharuddin was the first Indian captain to win 2-0 in 1990 and MS Dhoni repeated the feat in 2014 with a 3-1 margin.

Now, Rohit Sharma joins the elite list, becoming the third Indian captain to win an ODI bilateral series in England.

Rohit Sharma Praised Hardik Pandya And Rishabh Pant For Not Panicking Under Pressure

Rohit Sharma also lauded Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya for their showing. The two youngsters combined when India was reeling at 72/4. They put on 133 in 19 overs to take the game away from the hosts.

“It was a good pitch, but we do understand it’s not going to be easy if we lose wickets upfront. The positive side of it, these guys haven’t batted much in the middle overs. Today we got to see that with Hardik and Rishabh. At no point we felt they were panicking,” said the India skipper.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Credits: Twitter)

Hardik Pandya made 71 after taking career-best figures of 4-24, while Rishabh Pant hit an unbeaten 125 and finished the chase with a reverse hit off Joe Root in the 43rd over, helping India chase down 260 with 7.5 overs to spare.

“Hopefully I will remember this for the rest of my life,” said Pant, who claimed the player-of-the-match trophy. “You always aspire to play like this when your team is in trouble.”

Since taking the full-time Indian captaincy from Virat Kohli in all formats, Rohit Sharma is yet to lose a bilateral series under his leadership. India defeated New Zealand (3-0), West Indies (3-0 in both ODIs and T20Is), Sri Lanka (3-0 in T20Is and 2-0 in Tests), and England (2-1 in T20Is and ODIs).

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