India used England 337 to win and reach the three-game ODI series, a sum the tourists from Stokes and Bairstow had taken away.
While opener Bairstow contributed 124, Stokes stole the show with 99 of just 52 balls – 49 of the next 11 after reaching its half century. Since the beginning of 2017, he has averaged 56.4 over 42 ODI innings.
At the 175 booth – after Bairstow and Jason Roy put the first wicket to 110 – England had two hundred partnerships in the same ODI for the first time since the World Cricket Championship in June 2019.
Though Stokes and Bairstow fell in consecutive overs and briefly gave India hope, Dawid Malan and Liam Livingstone completed a triumph with six wickets and 39 balls.
“I think we got a pretty decent total on the board,” said Captain Kohli, who scored 66 points and is a century behind Sachin Tendulkar’s record of 20 men’s ODIs in India.
“But England found a way to achieve this 100-year partnership and we had little chance.”
“I thought they fought brilliantly tonight. Yes, we didn’t do some things as well as we wanted, but that was one of the most amazing blows you will see when you hunt overall.
“They have to give credit where it’s due and tonight they totally blew us away with this partnership between Jonny and Ben Stokes.
“We didn’t even have a chance, they were that good together and they deserve to win.”
Bairstow has 20 sixes in his last three ODI innings against India and no English batsman has more maxima against them in that format than his 26th.
The Yorkshire wicketkeeper was delighted with Kohli’s praise and replied, “I’ll take this! It’s very kind of him to say that.
“He’s been one of the best players in the world for a while now. I’m delighted and delighted to hit the ball the way I am.”
Bairstow and Roy now have 13 centuries together, most of an English couple, while no inaugural partnership in ODIs for men can beat their average of 61.6 (out of 20 innings or more).
It’s certainly a role that Bairstow enjoys when he added, “I’m happy. I’ve been 11 since I opened my eyelashes [centuries]I think I’ve only opened 56, 57 times.
“I’m happy with these numbers, but these numbers won’t mean anything if you don’t keep converting them in the future. I’m happy with the way I play my cricket right now and really enjoy it.”
(With OPTA input)
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