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

VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
News
Plans to decriminalise non-payment of television licence fees would cost the BBC £500m according to estimates drawn up within the Corporation
people
News
people
Life & Style
The new low cost smartphone of Motorola, 'Motorola Moto G', is displayed in Sao Paulo, Brazil on November 13, 2013. The smartphone, with dimensions 65.9mm W x 129.9mm H x 6.0 - 11.6mm D is equipped with a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 with quad-core 1,2 GHz CPU, a 4.5-inch display and Android Operating System 4.3 and a suggested price of $ 179 USD.
techData assessing smartphones has revealed tens of millions of phones are at risk of being harvested
Arts & Entertainment
Jessica Pare as Megan Draper and Jon Hamm as the troubled, melancholy Don Draper
tvAnd six other questions we hope Mad Men series seven will answer
Arts & Entertainment
Cody and Paul Walker pictured in 2003.
film
Caption competition
Caption competition
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition iPad app?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Homelessness: Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Why is the supported lodgings lifeline under threat?

Zubairi Sentongo swapped poverty in Uganda for homelessness in Britain. But a YMCA scheme connected him with a couple offering warmth and shelter
A History of the First World War in 100 Moments: When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park

A History of the First World War in 100 Moments

When the world’s biggest shed took over Regent’s Park
The pain of IVF

The pain of IVF

As an Italian woman vows to keep the babies from someone else’s eggs, Julian Baggini ponders how the reality of childbirth is often messier than the natural ideal
Supersize art

Is big better? Britain's latest super-sized art

The Kelpies are the latest addition to a growing army of giant sculptures. But naysayers are asking what a pair of gigantic horse heads tells us about Falkirk?
James Dean: Back on the big screen

James Dean: Back on the big screen

As 'Rebel without a Cause' is re-released, Geoffrey Macnab reveals how its star perfected his moody act
Catch-22: How the cult classic was adapted for the stage

How a cult classic was adapted for the stage

More than half a century after it was published 'Catch-22' will make its British stage debut next week
10 best activity books for children

10 best activity books for children

Keep little ones busy this bank holiday with one of these creative, educational and fun books
Arsenal 3 West Ham United 1: Five things we learnt from the battle between the London sides

Five things we learnt from Arsenal's win over West Ham

Arsenal still in driving seat for Champions League spot and Carroll can make late charge into England’s World Cup squad
Copa del Rey final: Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right

Pete Jenson on the Copa del Rey final

Barcelona are paying for their complacency and not even victory over Real Madrid will put things right
Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

Rafa to reign? Ten issues clay courts will serve up this season

With the tennis circus now rolling on to the slowest surface, Paul Newman highlights who'll be making the headlines – and why
Exclusive: NHS faces financial disaster in 2015 as politicians urged to find radical solution

NHS faces financial disaster in 2015

Politicians urged to find radical solution
Ukraine crisis: How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?

Ukraine crisis

How spontaneous are the pro-Russian protests breaking out in Ukraine’s east?
A History of the First World War in 100 moments: The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

The first execution at the Tower of London for 167 years

A history of the First World War in 100 moments
Fires could turn Amazon rainforest into a desert as human activity and climate change threaten ‘lungs of the world’, says study

New threat to the Amazon rainforest:

Fires that scorch the ‘lungs of the Earth’
Liverpool, Chelsea and Manchester City: And the winner of this season’s Premier League title will be...

Who’s in box seat now? The winner of the title will be ...

Who is in best shape to take the Premier League prize?