India were handed their first defeat of the 2019 World Cup and the loss came as a reality check for the Men in Blue as the visitors were out-batted by England, keeping their hopes alive for a semi-final berth. England handed India a 31-run loss, breaking their unbeaten streak in the tournament.
Opener Jonny Bairstow's hundred (111 off 109 balls) set the platform and a cavalier 54-ball 79 by all-rounder Ben Stokes took England to an imposing 337 for 7 in 50 overs after batting first, neutralising the spin duo of Yuzvendra Chahal and Kuldeep Yadav with some heavy duty hitting.
2019 World Cup: Sri Lanka's fight for semifinals continues despite setback, West Indies play for pride
The total proved to be good enough as Rohit Sharma's (102) 25th ODI hundred and skipper Virat Kohli's (66) fifth consecutive half-century could only take India to 306 for 5 as England captain Eoin Morgan rotated his bowlers effectively at the death.
Skipper Kohli felt that the opposition executed their plans well and were clinical and with the loss, the boys will just have to brush the defeat aside and learn from it.
"Every team has lost a game or two here or there, you just have to accept that the opposition played a better game on the day, They were just more clinical in terms of their execution of their plans," said Kohli in the post-match presentation ceremony.
"We are still playing good cricket, and the morale is still the same in the dressing room. We just have to brush this aside as professional cricketers, learn from it and move forward."
India had a chance to get to the finish line when they needed 104 in 10 overs, but it was a scrappy finish where MS Dhoni once again failed to live up to the expectations of finishing the game.
The skipper felt that if the dismissals didn't occur, the result could have been quite different. On the slow run, Kohli said that they will address the matter.
"If we were clinical with the bat, if the dismissals didn't happen at that time then the result could have been different. We had a decent chance when they (Pant and Pandya) were in there to strike a few and get closer to the target and trigger panic in their dressing room. We kept losing wickets and that doesn't help in a big chase, but credit goes to England in the end. It's up to discussions with the two guys who were in there (about the way India batted towards the end). I think MS was trying really hard to get the boundary but it wasn't coming off."
England, now on 10 points, will need to beat New Zealand in their last game to qualify for the semifinals while India (11 points from 7 games) will need to win at least one of their remaining two games -- against Bangladesh and Sri Lanka -- to seal the last four spot.
(With Agency Inputs)