Tourists exposed again by brilliance of Kohli

England 220 India 223-4

Identity swap movies have rarely been executed better than this. Sometimes you can see the join before incredulity kicks in, but what has happened in the past few weeks to England and India has been perfectly seamless. Trading Places starring Alastair Cook and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.

Not long ago, England looked as though they could not lose, now India cannot stop winning. It has been a complete exchange of faculties, skills and personalities, and so it spectacularly continued last night. India, who lost eight international matches without reply on their summer tour of England took a 4-0 lead in this one-day series, romping home by six wickets.

The tourists, who made two bowling changes but none to the batting line-up which has been largely responsible for getting them into the mess, were puny. Bowled out for the third time in the series, this time for 220, they never had the remotest prospect of containing their opponents.

India lost three early wickets as England made effective use of both the new balls. But with two novices to come, the fast bowler, Stuart Meaker, in his first match and the leg-spinner, Scott Borthwick, in his second in place of a rested Graeme Swann, they must have known that big trouble loomed.

The vibrant cream of India's young middle order did most of the rest. The 24-year-old left-hander Suresh Raina and the 22-year-old right hander Virat Kohli, with respectively 129 and 68 one-day caps, eventually did much as they pleased. Their third-wicket partnership was ended at 131 when Raina tried to make merry – well Diwali is almost here, so why not? – once too often and was bowled after scything his way to 80 from 62 balls.

By then the exercise was purely academic. Kohli finished the job with a luscious unbeaten 86 from 99 balls. India had 59 balls to spare, fewer than in Delhi, more than in Mohali, but plenty. Only in the first match of the series have they had to bat their full complement and then they batted first and dismissed England in no time.

"I can't fault the effort, commitment or desire to win," said Cook, England's captain. "But what we are doing in training isn't happening in the middle. As I said when we were winning at home in the summer, it wouldn't always be that straightforward."

He cannot have imagined, however, that the road would become this rocky so quickly. It has been an embarrassingly one-sided affair which England can barely excuse by pointing to their missing stars such as Eoin Morgan and Stuart Broad. For every English absentee, India can probably name two, including the most illustrious of them all, Sachin Tendulkar.

Heretical though it may be to say, neither Tendulkar nor the rest have been missed, except in one regard. The last time India played in the Wankhede Stadium it was full to the rafters for the World Cup final. Last night half the seats were empty in what many suggested was the ground's lowest attendance for a one-day international.

Various explanations were given from Diwali to World Cup fatigue. Overriding all may be the Sachin element. Without him, India to Indians are incomplete. If a full Mumbai house had been on their backs from start to finish it hardly bears contemplation how England might have progressed. It is too simplistic to report that fortunes have completely changed in a month; this series is merely a continuation of England's form in this country since 2003. Of the last 17 matches against India here, England have won only one.

There was scant chance of that record being altered in the win column. Before the first powerplay of 10 overs was out, England had lost both openers. Cook, having a moderate time of it, was leg before as was Craig Kieswetter soon after he started playing the role of pinch-hitter at last.

A brief stand between Jonathan Trott and Kevin Pietersen ended when Trott was bowled by one keeping low, Pietersen was caught on the boundary and the rest perished to a mixture of ill-conceived strokes and misjudgements. Ravichandran Ashwin conceded 17 runs from his first over, 21 off his next nine, the new speedster Varun Aaron (crazy name, crazy kid) clocked 90mph and clean bowled three batsmen.

Steve Finn bowled like the wind and gave Raina a volley of abuse at his dismissal. Borthwick eventually had a torrid time but showed real promise. England have been displeased with some of the sledging they have received in this series and Samit Patel's Indian background has been raised tastelessly by opponents. But that is not the reason England are 4-0 down and heading – seamlessly – for five in Kolkata tomorrow.

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

Refugee crisis: David Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia - will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi?

Cameron lowered the flag for the dead king of Saudi Arabia...

But will he do the same honour for little Aylan Kurdi, asks Robert Fisk
Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Our leaders lack courage in this refugee crisis. We are shamed by our European neighbours

Humanity must be at the heart of politics, says Jeremy Corbyn
Joe Biden's 'tease tour': Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?

Joe Biden's 'tease tour'

Could the US Vice-President be testing the water for a presidential run?
Britain's 24-hour culture: With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever

Britain's 24-hour culture

With the 'leisured society' a distant dream we're working longer and less regular hours than ever
Diplomacy board game: Treachery is the way to win - which makes it just like the real thing

The addictive nature of Diplomacy

Bullying, betrayal, aggression – it may be just a board game, but the family that plays Diplomacy may never look at each other in the same way again
Lady Chatterley's Lover: Racy underwear for fans of DH Lawrence's equally racy tome

Fashion: Ooh, Lady Chatterley!

Take inspiration from DH Lawrence's racy tome with equally racy underwear
8 best children's clocks

Tick-tock: 8 best children's clocks

Whether you’re teaching them to tell the time or putting the finishing touches to a nursery, there’s a ticker for that
Charlie Austin: Queens Park Rangers striker says ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

Charlie Austin: ‘If the move is not right, I’m not going’

After hitting 18 goals in the Premier League last season, the QPR striker was the great non-deal of transfer deadline day. But he says he'd preferred another shot at promotion
Isis profits from destruction of antiquities by selling relics to dealers - and then blowing up the buildings they come from to conceal the evidence of looting

How Isis profits from destruction of antiquities

Robert Fisk on the terrorist group's manipulation of the market to increase the price of artefacts
Labour leadership: Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea

'If we lose touch we’ll end up with two decades of the Tories'

In an exclusive interview, Andy Burnham urges Jeremy Corbyn voters to think again in last-minute plea
Tunisia fears its Arab Spring could be reversed as the new regime becomes as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor

The Arab Spring reversed

Tunisian protesters fear that a new law will whitewash corrupt businessmen and officials, but they are finding that the new regime is becoming as intolerant of dissent as its predecessor
King Arthur: Legendary figure was real and lived most of his life in Strathclyde, academic claims

Academic claims King Arthur was real - and reveals where he lived

Dr Andrew Breeze says the legendary figure did exist – but was a general, not a king
Who is Oliver Bonas and how has he captured middle-class hearts?

Who is Oliver Bonas?

It's the first high-street store to pay its staff the living wage, and it saw out the recession in style
Earth has 'lost more than half its trees' since humans first started cutting them down

Axe-wielding Man fells half the world’s trees – leaving us just 422 each

However, the number of trees may be eight times higher than previously thought
60 years of Scalextric: Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones

60 years of Scalextric

Model cars are now stuffed with as much tech as real ones