Buttler's mind-eye fails him
In the previous ODI, on a slow and low Edgbaston track, MS Dhoni had moved his second slip to a fine and short gully for Alastair Cook, who steered Bhunveshwar Kumar straight to that man early on. On a quicker and bouncier pitch in Leeds, Dhoni tried to repeat that fine-gully trick, but twice - in the second and the seventh over - he saw Cook edge through second slip or thereabouts. Just to tease Dhoni a bit, when the gully moved back to second slip, Cook edged over where that fielder would have been.
The near repeat
At Edgbaston, another field placement that worked for Dhoni was the leg slip, with Suresh Raina catching Eoin Morgan after the batsman had moved too far across and flicked one straight at him. In the 28th over of the innings at Headingley, once again when facing Ravindra Jadeja, Morgan moved too far across once again, closed the face again, but this time the ball flew a little too fast to the right of Raina at leg slip.
It has been a bleak ODI series for England. If you are a fast bowler going through this and also making your comeback, you want to catch every break. Steve Finn should be so lucky. In one over, with India already three down for under 50, Finn created two opportunities, but no wicket. A thick edge from Ambati Rayudu was put down by Chris Woakes running in from third man. Then came what is a template dismissal for Suresh Raina: staying back and hopping to a ball that is not quite short, and edging it. But this time, Cook did not hold on to it at first slip. To rub in some salt, three overs later Raina creamed Finn through extra cover for four.
The end of an ODI innings is a hectic period unless you do not have wickets in hand. In this game, England had the wickets in hand, and they scored 143 in the last 15 overs. During that period of near domination, England did find a moment of comedy when Jos Buttler tried to reverse-sweep Jadeja. The ball hardly left the pitch, but in the mind's eye of Buttler, the ball had hit the pad and was trickling away for more than one leg-bye. Until to his horror he found out, having reached the middle of the pitch, that Joe Root wasn't moving, and that Dhoni had the ball in his hand and was waiting for him to turn back so that he could flick the bail off with him watching it.
Sidharth Monga is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo