India v England, 4th ODI, Mohali January 23, 2013

India take series with third straight win


India 258 for 5 (Raina 89*, Rohit 83) beat England 257 for 7 (Cook 76, Pietersen 76, Root 57*, Jadeja 3-39) by five wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

England fought hard to assemble a respectable total on a cold, wintry day in the Punjab, but when the fog cleared the view was a familiar one: another defeat in a one-day series in India. India's pursuit of 258 was far from trouble free, but a winning margin of five wickets with 15 balls to spare was emphatic enough and left them 3-1 up one to play.

Instead of a dead rubber in ODI in Dharamsala, in the foothills of the Himalayas, England would be forgiven for fancying a spot of skiing, but sadly for them the weather forecast is improving and only the cricket is going downhill. A record extended to 18 ODI defeats in their last 20 in India is proof of that.

It might have been different had England not fallen again to the curse of Steven Finn's knee. When Finn thought he had Suresh Raina caught by Alastair Cook at first slip, India still needed 80 from 89 balls with what would have been five wickets intact. But Finn's recalcitrant right knee had collided with the stumps again and umpire Steve Davis invoked Law 23, ruling that Raina had been distracted. Cook's protests that Finn was entitled to a warning went unheeded.

Raina, in blissfully enterprising mood, took advantage of his let-off. Only Finn and James Tredwell demanded much respect. Tim Bresnan was despatched with ease, Joe Root's callow offspin routinely picked off, and when met by Jade Dernbach's circus act, Raina was the ringmaster. His unbeaten 89 from 79 balls guided India to victory with such comfort it passed almost unnoticed.

The story of this series has been one of growing India dominance. MS Dhoni has looked as impregnable in one-day cricket as he seemed flawed in the Test series. After England's win in the opening game in Rajkot, fuelled by a late batting assault from Samit Patel, India's batsmen dominated in Kochi and Ranchi and when they got the benefit of an influentiual toss in Mohali, their quick bowlers accepted it with alacrity. They beat England in English-style conditions, although they did have the better of them. As for Ravindra Jadeja, India will be more convinced than ever that they have a player who can balance their one-day side.

India's run chase was a personal triumph for Rohit Sharma, whose selection ahead of Ajinkya Rahane as a replacement opener had not possessed obvious logic on a seam-friendly morning, but who took advantage of easing conditions to move on from a lean run of form which had brought eight single-figure scores in his last nine innings. Rohit burst ahead after reaching his fifty, addressing Tredwell's threat in the process, and had 83 from 93 balls when Finn won a fortunate lbw decision for a delivery slipping down the leg side.

On another day of fallible umpiring, Gautam Gambhir was adjudged caught at the wicket, carving at a wide one and left with a look of unfeigned surprise that the umpire thought he had hit it.

Virat Kohli was gently removed by Tredwell, not as much dismissed as quietly informed that he would take no further part in the game. In the calming manner of a hospital consultant, Tredwell's entire demeanour is designed to allay fears. "Good morning, Mr Kohli, do relax, there is nothing to worry about." But there was and by the end of his first over, Kohli had chipped a gentle return catch as if half-anaesthetised. There must have been some dip, or subtle change of pace, but you could study innumerable replays and struggle to discern it.

Tredwell claimed a second wicket when he defeated Yuvraj Singh's sweep, dismissing him for the fourth time in the series.

England could ill afford to allow let-offs in the field, but both Kohli and Rohit survived half chances. Rohit, on 12, drove Tim Bresnan high to mid-off where Kevin Pietersen leapt to palm the ball in the air with his right hand but failed to locate it as it fell. Kohli was 2 when he pulled at Finn and the ball fell between the wicketkeeper, Jos Buttler, and Bresnan at fine leg.

Buttler was running backwards for a catch which could not have fallen more inconveniently had Kohli marked the spot with a cross, but he was a stand-in wicketkeeper for Craig Kieswetter, and an inexperienced one at that, and it was natural to wonder whether a more experienced keeper would have been more assertive.

India's pace attack made impressive use of a good fast-bowling morning after Dhoni had won the toss. Bhuvneshwar Kumar conceded only 30 runs in a probing 10-over allocation delivered without interruption and Ishant Sharma was as dangerous as at any time in either Test or one-day series.

Alastair Cook's methodical half-century was an appropriate response, but his demise, lbw to a ball from R Ashwin that pitched well outside leg stump was another rum decision. Umpires drawn from outside the elite panel, plus the absence of DRS, equals a greater likelihood of error wherever a game is played.

There was 76, too, from Pietersen, but it was a more fretful innings delivered by a batsman anxious for the first shaft of sunlight. He was struck on the elbow as Ishant cut one back and narrowly escaped an lbw decision in the same over when he just got outside the line. He needed 13 balls to get off the mark; 33 to find the boundary, an authoritative straight drive against R Ashwin.

He was illuminated only briefly, muscling Ishant over midwicket for six, but he got an excellent yorker in response as Ishant ensured that for once his bowling figures were not damaged by bowling at the most pressing times.

Cook, for all his frustration at his dismissal, had provided a solid layer, but England's cause was not helped when they lost Eoin Morgan and Patel in quick succession.

Morgan has had a poor series in a country in which, with IPL in mind, he was anxious to advance his reputation. He drove Ashwin weakly down the ground and only reached Yuvraj at mid-on. Patel was promoted to No. 5, presumably with the approaching batting Powerplay in mind, but he made a single in 10 balls when he chipped a return catch to Ravindra Jadeja. Patel stalked off; he has done more stalking off recently than is good for him.

England rallied with 100 from the last 10 overs, energised by Joe Root's maiden ODI half-century, 57 not out from 45 balls, after he had been dropped off Ishant by Kohli at slip. Throughout the winter, in all three forms of the game, Root has proved more adaptable than perhaps even he had expected. His cricketing intelligence is one of his greatest assets.

He should also have fallen on 42, a slog sweep against Jadeja bringing a comical drop by Raina at midwicket. Jadeja's left-arm slows have disturbed England throughout the series. The dismissal of Buttler and Bresnan in his final over left him with 3 for 39.

A paragraph on Suresh Raina, accidentally deleted, was reinstated in this report on January 24

David Hopps is the UK editor of ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Al on January 26, 2013, 15:30 GMT

    We got lucky with our bowling. Sir Ravindra Jadeja finally showed up and the new pace bowlers have bowled well throughout this series and the previous one. But we still need to fix our top order batting. Indian Selectors should stop living in the past. Sehwag and Gambhir were good until 2011. But they have been failing consistently for the past 2 years. Why is it so hard to replace out of form Gambhir with an in form Dhawan in ODI?? In tests, replace Gambhir with in form Jaffer. This is a good time to build our bench strength in bowling by trying top Ranji performers like Ishwar Pandey, S Kaul, Nadeem, Parvez Rassol of Kashmir, etc.

  • Harmon on January 26, 2013, 5:51 GMT

    @Dravid_Gravitas: For a change I agree with you here. You nearly echo what I had said a few days back for DRS. DRS is a wonderful idea but sadly it has a very high price tag and even then it comes with many *s A lot of the things for which DRS is being used or for which other ppl want DRS to be used can be solved with much simpler tools which are already available. The slo-mo reply should suffice in almost all the cases and the snicko can fill in the rest of the gaps (thought it has its own sync issues at times). But like you said, the most imp tool here is Common Sense and we won't need an extra penny to implement it !!

    I've said in the past that instead of focusing at the issue of improving decision making process, some boards have started with technological aspects and then developed DRS obsession without looking at the alternatives. Then the BCCI-bashing also came in when BCCI asked some questions. Add to it that only a few can afford it.

    Rare that I agree with u but here it is.

  • Srinivas on January 26, 2013, 1:26 GMT

    @CandidIndian, and at present, the rest of the world is living like Ostriches with their heads buried in sand. They simply don't want to use commonsense. They want to push a case for DRS everytime they see a howler, rather than using their common sense that DRS doesn't need to be invoked for howlers like LBW off inside edge. They are using slo-mos for runouts. Aren't they? So why not use it for inside edges? The hurried push for DRS for such a context/pretext smacks of vested interests. Talk of being adamant. Look no further than the boards of the world and some 'knowledgeable' commentators who think a howler like an inside edge LBW makes the strongest case for DRS. Not a cent of common sense in their arguement. Next, the way DRS is implemented, didn't we see in Aus vs SL Series how players have to go back though there is DRS? Its implementation is dubious, if I may say so, and its case is even more dubious. Gotta give it to BCCI on this issue. Please publish.

  • Gaurav on January 25, 2013, 19:58 GMT

    @karthik_raja-Ive noted the points that you mentioned and i agreed with them already in my last post.Let me put it this way,BCCI obviously does not want ball tracker ,also you mentioned correctly that they are not comfortable with hot spot either and as i see it ICC and some boards supporting idea of DRS does not want half baked version of it.Only possible solution here is to give more powers to on field umpires and third umpires so that they can consult freely on any controversial decision.That seems to be the only feasible solution presently.

  • S on January 25, 2013, 16:52 GMT

    DRS is not the problem. DRS didnt save Dave Warner from being given out LBW from an inside edge on the 4th ODI against SL. All that DRS did was enable Clarke review unsuccessfully a plumb LBW decision -- DRS doesnt prevent umpiring errors. Need better umpires.

  • Srinivas on January 25, 2013, 16:10 GMT

    @CandidIndian, you don't need DRS to enquire about inside edges for LBWs. Do you? DRS is a sham. Shame in fact! Justice can be delivered most of the times without spending an extra cent. Read Karthik Raja's elaborate explanation. Can't agree more with him.

  • uncle bob on January 25, 2013, 15:03 GMT

    From Indian team's point of view, 4 changes are necessary to start build up for WC 2015. Gambhir, Ishant, Ashwin and Rahane should be rested. Bring in Unmukt Chand and let him play a few games with seniors to provide him exposure, Dhawan and Rohit Sharma should rotate for second opener. Give pujara a few game in ODIs, Try Jadeja at his usual number 4 to see what he can do at that position vis a vis the current number 7 position. Umesh should come to replace Ishant and bring in Harmeet Singh to replace Ashwin and give him a few matches as an spinner. Team will be balanced.

  • Ashok on January 25, 2013, 14:14 GMT

    5Udh33r: I am not an England Fan nor a Fan of Root but an Indian Fan who appreciates all good Cricketers. Your comments about Joe Root are baseless especially when you are unaware of what your are writing. Root scored 57*, 39, 36 in the last 3 ODI's againt India with over 100 S/R. He also scored 73 & 20* in the only Test against India. You say "Don't big up someone just looking at one innings". This is not one innings score for a 22 year old Cricketer. On the contrary, he has performed consistently in all the matches he played. Even Captain Cook has high praise for Joe Root.Also in ODI's & T-20 you need to chance your arm & it is rarely chanceless innings when you have S/R of over 125!. I was amazed when he reverse swept Ishant Sharma for 4.

  • sudheer on January 25, 2013, 10:51 GMT

    Joe root got his fifty with 2 miss catches and everybody is after joe root , even I can score fifty with two lives. Dont big up someone just looking at one innings ie , Dernbach did his best in England. England cricket board banging their heads for making him permenant.I say players like Dernbach , Joeroot Sir Piyushchawla , Dinda are one match wonders.They can play one match in a while and does nothing for 10 matches.Waste of money and waste of time.

  • Shanmuga on January 25, 2013, 10:49 GMT

    @Preciouss: Perfect comment to start the discussions in this forum! I'm concerned that Dhoni's unconditional love for Ashwin is harming India in the short run as well as in the long run! Our lead spinner / half-tracker has been comprehensively outbowled by the Eng spinners both in the test & ODI series and that's such a shame for our gloroius spin bowling past! I'm yet to see him flight a ball to any leading batsman of any team and reserves his unplayable deliveries for batsmen 8 - 11! Aussies must be hoping that this adventurous experiment continues for another 3 months! sigh!