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

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

Screwing your way to the top?

Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

Meet the US Army's shooting star

Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

Take a good look while you can

How climate change could wipe out this seal
Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

Farewell, my lovely

Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
The 10 best pedicure products

Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

Commonwealth Games 2014

Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

Jack Pitt-Brooke

Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game