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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 21 November 2018

'Clinical' England have laid down a marker for the 2019 World Cup

Root's century and Morgan's unbeaten 88 seals eight-wicket win over India to clinch ODI series 2-1

England's Joe Root hits a four for his century and to win the deciding ODI match against India as England won the series 2-1. Reuters
England's Joe Root hits a four for his century and to win the deciding ODI match against India as England won the series 2-1. Reuters

England laid down a marker for next year's World Cup by sealing a one-day international series triumph over India with a performance captain Eoin Morgan called "clinical".

Having thrashed Australia 5-0 last month, the top-ranked ODI side in the world claimed a 2-1 series success over India - their first over that opponent since 2011 - by recording an eight-wicket win in Tuesday's decider at Headingley.

It was achieved in style, with 33 balls to spare, as Yorkshireman Joe Root reached a record 13th ODI century with a four that he celebrated with a "mic-drop" of his bat.

England had lost the first game of the series by eight wickets but had responded with two mammoth victories of their own that suggested they may be favourites for a 2019 World Cup on home soil.

"We started poorly [but] as the series has gone on we have improved," England captain Morgan said.

"It is a benefit of playing a bilateral series. You play against the same team over and over again, it can present different challenges - that constant improvement has been brilliant since Trent Bridge. I thought it was clinical, right from the get go."

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Read more:

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Joe Root urges England to remain 'ruthless' against India

Eoin Morgan says England will need to play 'close to' perfect against India in ODI series

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England had restricted India to 256-8 - Yorkshire pair Adil Rashid and David Willey claiming three wickets each - and a fast start to the reply meant they had plenty on the board by the time Morgan and Root came together to compile an unbroken 186.

Both men were closing in on three figures as the victory target neared and though Morgan finished unbeaten on 88, Root would reach 100 not out and celebrated in a manner that amused his partner.

"He caught me off guard completely - he's made a fool of himself," Morgan joked.

"The composure he's shown, particularly in the last two games, is the Joe Root we know and trust.

"He's been outstanding even when he's been low on runs - around the group he's been the same guy, hungry for runs, hopefully that continues for the rest of the summer."

Root's bat-drop antics garnered plenty of attention on social media, as did India captain Virat Kohli's dumbfounded response to being bowled by a beauty from Rashid for 71 earlier in the day.

The Bradford-born leg spinner's delivery pitched in line with leg and ripped into Kohli's off stump, which left the visiting skipper in disbelief.

"It's definitely the most satisfying wicket I've taken," Rashid said. "Virat Kohli is one of the best players in the world."