Yuvraj Singh and MS Dhoni both hit superb centuries as India defeated England by 15 runs in the second one-day international to take an unassailable 2-0 lead in the three-match series in Cuttack. The tourists' misery continued this winter as the home side set 382 to win after scoring 113 from their final 10 overs.
Chris Woakes took three early wickets to reduce the home side to 25 for 3, but much like the first one-day game they were unable to convert the position of dominance. Yuvraj (150) and Dhoni (134) put them on 246 for the fourth wicket to set the platform for a giant score.
England did produce a valiant response and found themselves ahead of the rate at several key junctures before a flurry of wickets fell in the closing overs. Captain Eoin Morgan (102) scored his first ODI hundred for 26 matches, while Jason Roy, Joe Root and Moeen Ali all scored half-centuries, but it wasn't enough as his side fell agonisingly short for the second consecutive game.
Both teams will face-off for a third time in the 50-over game on Sunday (22 January) before the three T20 internationals, where they will be looking to break their winless run in all formats that stretches back to October. Virat Kohli's side, meanwhile, march on with their ninth ODI series victory in 11 outings.
"We were wondering if we had a good start where we would have ended up with good batting," said captain Kohli. "Two of the greats stood up. Getting 381 from 25 for 3 was outstanding. We knew we'd get wickets at some stage or the other but we bowled at the more difficult part of the day. The guys showed really good character.
"We pulled it back nicely in the end. Having won the series, just before the Champions Trophy, the key will be for us to express ourselves and work out what is the best opening partnership. Two guys who had a really good Test series [Jadeja and Ashwin] stepped up and had we not picked up those wickets I don't know where the game would have gone. I'd say we are only at 75% of our potential."
Opposition skipper Morgan added: "We weren't at our best again. It's very disappointing to get so close and not over the line. Bowling to MS Dhoni and Yuvraj can be difficult. Your margin for error is quite small, you have to try and break the partnership. We showed a lot of fight. We believed we could chase it down. There's a tremendous amount of belief but we didn't quite have the skill."