Desi Talk – that’s all you need to know 29 SPORTS April 2, 2021 -PUNE, INDIA I ndia seamers Shardul Thakur and Bhuvneshwar Kumar snared seven wickets between them to help the hosts beat England by seven runs in a thrilling third one-day international on Sunday and win the series 2-1. England’s chase of 330 appeared all but over when they were reduced to 257- 8 in the 40th over but Sam Curran and MarkWood, who made 14, kept their side in the hunt with a stubborn 60-run stand for the ninth wicket All-rounder Curran, who was dropped on 22 and then again on 87, remained unbeaten on a career-best 95 but could not hit the required 14 runs in the final over with England finishing on 322-9. On a sweltering day in the western Indian city of Pune, the hosts were dis- missed for 329 after being put in to bat with Shikhar Dhawan, Rishabh Pant and Hardik Pandya scoring half-centuries. The target did not appear too im- posing for England, who chased down 337 with 39 deliveries remaining in the previous match, but Kumar’s early break- throughs put the hosts on top. Kumar, who picked up 3-42, got the new ball to move in the air and dismissed openers Jason Roy and Jonny Bairstow cheaply and almost got his third but Pandya dropped a skier from Ben Stokes, with the left-handed batsman on 15. Stokes, who also survived a run out chance on 24, holed out in the deep for 35 off an innocuous full toss delivery fromT. Natarajan, who was called upon to bowl the final over. Thakur picked up the wickets of Da- wid Malan, who made 50, the dangerous Liam Livingstone and England captain Jos Buttler to derail England’s chase. He finished with 4-67. Dhawan, who scored 67, and Rohit Sharma earlier combined in an opening stand of 103 to give India a brisk start before leg-spinner Adil Rashid dismissed them in successive overs. Off-spinner Moeen Ali then spun the ball sharply back into Virat Kohli to dismiss India’s skipper for seven and the hosts appeared in trouble when KL Rahul also fell cheaply to part-time spinner Livingstone shortly after. India found themselves at 157-4 inside 25 overs but Pant and Pandya then propped up the innings with a counter- attacking stand of 99, helping the side reach a competitive total. Pant hit five fours and four sixes in his career-best knock in the 50-over format while Pandya smashed five fours and four sixes, three of them in an over off Moeen. Fast bowlerWood took three wickets in the closing stages as India were bowled out with 10 deliveries left in their innings. - Reuters Seamers Help India Clinch Thriller And Series Despite Curran Heroics REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas REUTERS/Francis Mascarenhas Cricket – Third One Day International – India v England – Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune, India – March 28, 2021 India’s Shardul Thakur in action with England’s Sam Curran. Cricket – Third One Day International – India v England – Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium, Pune, India – March 28, 2021 India’s Shardul Thakur attempts a run out. Wasn’t Under Heavy Stress, Knew I Could Execute Well: Bhuvneshwar Kumar -NEW DELHI R ight-arm fast bowler Bhuvneshwar Kumar has said that he was not under pressure as he knew he could execute his lengths in the third and final ODI against England which India won to clinch the three-match series. Sam Curran’s knock went in vain as a spirited bowl- ing performance by India helped the hosts to defeat England by seven runs in the third and final ODI on Sunday. Prior to the ODI series win, India had regis- tered wins in the T20I and Test series as well against England. Shardul Thakur bagged four wickets while Kumar clinched three scalps as India defended the 330-run target at the Maharashtra Cricket Association (MCA) Stadium. “Yes, there was a bit of tension, the ground was small and there was a bit of dew, but yes, we were under some pressure. Personally, I wasn’t under heavy stress with the ball, it was doing a bit and I knew I could execute well,” Kumar told host broadcaster Star Sports after the match. “I am looking forward to the IPL. I’m just happy that I went through the entire series pretty well (talk- ing about his recent injury issues). Hopefully, I will go on and do well in the upcoming series,” he added. After the match, India skipper Virat Kohli had said that Thakur and Kumar should have been awarded the Man of the Match and Player of the Series awards respectively. “I am surprised Shardul was not the man of the match, and Bhuvi was not the man of the series. A lot of credit to them for bowling so well in adverse condi- tions. Prasidh and Krunal were impressive but death overs batting was extremely good, despite the early wickets, and if the top three can get a hundred, then we can get 370s and 380s later,” Kohli said at the post- match presentation ceremony. Kumar scalped a total of six wickets in three ODIs against England at a highly impressive economy rate of 4.66. - ANI Photo:BCCIviaANI India pacer Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Lengthy ‘Bubble’ Tours Not Sustainable, Says Kohli -MUMBAI I ndia captain Virat Kohli said confining players to ‘bubbles’ for months on end is not sustainable and the game has to consider scheduling changes to reduce the mental toll tours are taking during the COVID-19 pandemic. Kohli’s comments come as cricketers prepare to head into another restricted environment for two months for the Indian Premier League (IPL). “As I said, a couple of days ago as well, scheduling is some- thing that needs to be looked at in the future,” Kohli said at the presentation ceremony after the final match of England’s tour of India on Sunday. “Because playing in bubbles for so long, two-three months, is going to be very, very difficult going forward.” India’s players have hopped from one bubble to the next since September for the 2020 IPL in the United Arab Emirates. That was followed by their three-month tour of Australia and then a home series against England that lasted two months. They will next join up with their respective franchises for the IPL bubble, with the eight-teamT20 tournament to be played from April 9-May 30. India will then travel to England for theWorld Test Cham- pionship final against New Zealand from June 18-22 in South- ampton before their five-test series against England starts from Aug. 4. While foreign players in need of rest have the option of skip- ping the cash-rich IPL, their Indian counterparts are expected to be available for the showpiece annual tournament organised by the country’s cricket board. “You can’t expect everyone to be at the same level of men- tal strength,” said Kohli, who also leads the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the IPL. - Reuters