India take unassailable lead in one-day series following five wicket victory over England

Hosts now lead the one-day international series 3-1

England surrendered the series in a match of what-might-have-beens as India won by five wickets at the Mohali stadium. The hosts now have an unassailable 3-1 lead in the five-match series and England have only themselves to blame, although Steven Finn's disruptive knee will deflect some of that blame.

On a pitch that gave more assistance to the bowlers than any other this series, Joe Root's eclectic collection of  57 runs from 45 balls nurtured the visitors to 257, a below par total but at least problematic to chase. Half-centuries from Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina, who finished not out on 89 from 79 balls, helped India home with 15 balls to spare, suggesting that the label problematic was as generous as England's fielding.

But what might have been had umpire Davis not called a dead ball when Finn dislodged the bails in the process of having Raina caught by Alastair Cook? India's match winner was on 41 and the wicket would have left the hosts needing 80 runs from 15 overs with five, not six, wickets left. Instead, Raina hit his third half-century in as many innings and was still there at the finish.

Neither umpire will be on Cook's Christmas card list this year. The England captain battled in vain to remain diplomatic both out in the middle where he held an animated discussion with Davis and later in the post-match press conference.

"Apparently we had been told that because [Finn] knocked them over twice in one of the previous games he was a 'serial offender' and that he was going to get called straight away.

"In the heat of the moment I think a few of us might have forgotten that. I didn't know but apparently the umps were pretty clear that they had told us, so I must have been deaf when I was listening to them."

His opposite number MS Dhoni had a solution, "Ask Finn not to touch the stumps because that will remove all controversy."

What might have been had Kevin Pietersen, who scored the slowest and without doubt ugliest ODI half-century of his career, held a jumping chance from Sharma when the opener was on 12? The 25-year-old was recalled in favour of Ajinkya Rahane, a move designed to protect Rahane from his nemesis Finn rather than as a reward for his replacement's form. Sharma put scores of five, duck, duck, four, four and four in his last six ODIs to the back of his mind on his way to an all-round-the-ground 83.

What might have been had either Jos Buttler, selected behind the stumps ahead of Craig Kieswetter, or Tim Bresnan claimed a sky-high catch off Virat Kohli? That would have left India reeling on 35 for two. As Cook said, "defending 260 we needed early wickets".

What might have been had the England selectors dropped Jade Dernbach after a series of insipid displays? Finn and Bresnan spent 11 overs tying the Indian batsmen up in knots, Dernbach took just three overs costing 23 runs to untie them. At least he was consistent here, consistently short and wide. His 9.3 overs went for 59 runs to keep him comfortably at the top of the list of the most expensive bowlers in ODI history.

It was fitting that Dernbach conceded the runs that lost the series. England had hoped to keep it alive for the final match in Dharamsala on Saturday, instead they head to the Himalayan foothills with nothing but a clutch of what-might-have-beens.

England: Alastair Cook (c), Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler (wk), Samit Patel, Joe Root, Tim Bresnan, James Tredwell, Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach

India: Rohit Sharma, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni (c, wk), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Shami Ahmed

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
SPONSORED FEATURES
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

A Very British Coup, part two: New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel

A Very British Coup, part two

New novel in pipeline as Jeremy Corbyn's rise inspires sequel
Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Philae lander data show comets could have brought 'building blocks of life' to Earth

Icy dust layer holds organic compounds similar to those found in living organisms
What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist? Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories

What turns someone into a conspiracy theorist?

Study to look at why some are more 'receptive' to such theories
Chinese web dissenters using coded language to dodge censorship filters and vent frustration at government

Are you a 50-center?

Decoding the Chinese web dissenters
The Beatles film Help, released 50 years ago, signalled the birth of the 'metrosexual' man

Help signalled birth of 'metrosexual' man

The Beatles' moptop haircuts and dandified fashion introduced a new style for the modern Englishman, says Martin King
Hollywood's new diet: Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?

Hollywood's new diet trends

Has LA stolen New York's crown as the ultimate foodie trend-setter?
6 best recipe files

6 best recipe files

Get organised like a Bake Off champion and put all your show-stopping recipes in one place
Ashes 2015: Steven Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Finn goes from being unselectable to simply unplayable

Middlesex bowler claims Ashes hat-trick of Clarke, Voges and Marsh
Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... for the fourth time

Mullah Omar, creator of the Taliban, is dead... again

I was once told that intelligence services declare their enemies dead to provoke them into popping up their heads and revealing their location, says Robert Fisk
Margaret Attwood on climate change: 'Time is running out for our fragile, Goldilocks planet'

Margaret Atwood on climate change

The author looks back on what she wrote about oil in 2009, and reflects on how the conversation has changed in a mere six years
New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered: What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week

New Dr Seuss manuscript discovered

What Pet Should I Get? goes on sale this week
Oculus Rift and the lonely cartoon hedgehog who could become the first ever virtual reality movie star

The cartoon hedgehog leading the way into a whole new reality

Virtual reality is the 'next chapter' of entertainment. Tim Walker gives it a try
Ants have unique ability to switch between individual and collective action, says study

Secrets of ants' teamwork revealed

The insects have an almost unique ability to switch between individual and collective action
Donovan interview: The singer is releasing a greatest hits album to mark his 50th year in folk

Donovan marks his 50th year in folk

The singer tells Nick Duerden about receiving death threats, why the world is 'mentally ill', and how he can write a song about anything, from ecology to crumpets
Let's Race simulator: Ultra-realistic technology recreates thrill of the Formula One circuit

Simulator recreates thrill of F1 circuit

Rory Buckeridge gets behind the wheel and explains how it works