England’s World Cup campaign was reignited with a stirring victory over India on Sunday.
Jonny Bairstow let his bat do the talking with a match-winning century at Edgbaston.
After back-to-back defeats, the stakes were high for the hosts but captain Eoin Morgan’s side held their nerve in a 31-run success, ending India’s undefeated streak and reclaiming their place in the top four.
Bairstow had earlier suggested that critics were “waiting for us to fail” but he repaid any lingering doubt in style, striking 111 to set up an imposing 337 for seven.
He was joined by fit-again opening partner Jason Roy setting the tone with an aggressive 66 and Ben Stokes making it three half-centuries in a row with his bustling 79.
India needed luck and skill if they were to make a record World Cup chase and Rohit Sharma had both. Dropped at slip by Joe Root with just four to his name he went on to make 102.
But England’s attack showed their mettle, Chris Woakes taking two wickets and a glorious boundary catch while Liam Plunkett justified his recall in place of Moeen Ali with three for 55 – including master batsman Virat Kohli.
It may not be necessary for England to see off New Zealand at Chester-le-Street to book a semi-final place but they go into their last group game knowing a semi-final place is in their hands.