Joe Root struck another century - and became England’s leading hundred-hitter in ODIs - as Eoin Morgan’s men cruised to an eight-wicket success to seal their first one-day international series victory over India since 2011.
Sheffielder Root and Morgan’s unbroken third-wicket stand at Headingley was worth 186 - the former reaching three figures as he did at Lord’s on Saturday - as the top-ranked ODI side chased down 257 to record a timely series win ahead of next summer’s World Cup on home soil.
This decider was being viewed as a dress rehearsal for the knock-out phase of that tournament and England produced a strong collective showing having initially restricted the tourists to 256 for eight.
Yorkshire duo David Willey and Adil Rashid claimed three wickets apiece on their home ground, with the latter providing the day’s highlight from a viciously spinning delivery that bowled Virat Kohli to stun India’s captain.
Faced with a clearly attainable target thanks to the bowlers’ efforts, Root and Morgan operated with serenity by making respective unbeaten scores of 100 and 88 to see England to 260 for two with 33 remaining.
Root and Morgan were diligent against spin, with India’s tricky left-armer Kuldeep Yadav nullified after taking nine wickets across the previous two games. India’s day was epitomised by Root surviving a stumping shout on 69, not due to him being safely in his crease but because bowler Yuzvendra Chahal was guilty of a front-foot no ball, with Bhuvneshwar Kumar then shelling a simple chance to send Morgan back as well.
Root, voted player of the series by the written press, said: “It feels fantastic.
“To come into a big series like this, it’s a testament to the hard work the guys did when they set the tone early with the ball, backed up with the middle wickets and were were ruthless at the end there. Lovely.
“The best thing about today is knowing it was a must win game, the pressure of that and being able to stand up to it.”
“It’s going to be a great Test series. India have played some great Test cricket in the past couple of years and we’re going to have to play really well.”