A back spasm meant strike bowler Bumrah was ruled out of Sunday’s third and one-day international at Old Trafford.
But after replacement Mohammad Siraj shook England with a double-wicket maiden in his first over, medium-pacer Hardik took an ODI best of 4–24 as the hosts were bowled out for 259.
28-year-old Hardik scored 71 runs and shared a decisive partnership of 133 runs in 19 overs. Rishabh Pant Another fine new ball spell by Reece Topley saw India fall 72-4.
The victory, completed with more than seven overs to spare, propelled India to a 2–1 series success as they clinched the previous Twenty20 campaign by the same score against 50-over world champions England.
Player of the series Hardik told reporters, “It is always special to contribute in all departments.”
While Hardik’s scintillating 55-ball knock, which included 10 fours, ended with India shying away from victory, Pant thanked him for his scintillating 125 not out – the wicketkeeper’s maiden ODI century.
“You always aspired to play like this when your team is in trouble,” said the 24-year-old left-hander.
Hardik further added: “We all know the kind of talent he (Pant) has. When it comes out, it’s eye-catching – your heart beats up but at the same time you get caught with shots like that. Surprised what he does. Plays.”
Turning to his bowling, Hardik said: “We knew Jasprit was not going to play this game. He was telling me that I might have to bowl a few overs at death, I said they were ‘to fill in too big shoes’. are for’.
“I had to step up to get success, not at the death, but in the middle overs.”
This was India’s first international match at Old Trafford after a crushing defeat to New Zealand in the semi-finals of the 2019 World Cup.
But with India slated for next year’s edition and a Twenty20 World Cup in Australia in October, Hardik’s focus was firmly on the future which, for him, begins with an upcoming series in the West Indies.
“The past is the past, the Manchester semi-final has passed,” he said.
“You can’t change anything and there’s no change in cricket, doesn’t matter to be honest. For us it was important how we move on from here.
“England has been fantastic over the years, everyone found England to be one of the best teams in the world. It’s more important to come here and perform and win.”
Congratulations to #TeamIndia on winning the ODI series. Keep up the good work and keep up this form. Special advice… https://t.co/6ynyc1mRRf
— Sachin Tendulkar (@sachin_rt) 1658081516000
England captain Jos Buttler, who had scored 60 runs for the hosts, missed the opportunity to stump Pant when his opponent scored 18 runs.
“If you give good players a second chance there’s a good chance they’ll hurt you,” Butler said. “Rishabh is a fearless player, great to watch across all formats.”
England begin the three-match ODI series against South Africa on Tuesday with Buttler, who recently replaced retired World Cup-winning captain Eoin Morgan, optimistic that he will be better suited for his India experience.
“We haven’t played much one-day cricket lately and it’s getting back on track,” he said.
“Our ambition is to be the best team in the world and that means adapting quickly to what’s in front of you.”