January 23, 2013
It’s pay back for the Test series. India won the fourth ODI in Mohali on Wednesday by five wickets and now take an unassailable 3-1 lead into the final match due to be played on Sunday in cold, snowy Dharamsala.
On a misty winter morning, thermals were the order of the day in the warm-ups. MS Dhoni won the toss and asked England to bat. It didn’t take long for the sun to come out for India as they began proceedings with a disciplined bowling performance and followed it up with sensible and commanding batting. England, by contrast, seem unable to shake off their winter blues and some of their leading players remain in hibernation.
In the early part of the first innings, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Ishant Sharma were particularly impressive as the ball nibbled around off the seam while England’s top order chose to accumulate rather than impose. Following the early loss of Ian Bell, Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen added 95 for the second wicket before Cook (76) fell victim once again to an umpiring howler. Eoin Morgan and Samit Patel disappointed but the ever-adaptable Joe Root (57 not out) helped Pietersen (76) to guide England to a competitive 257, with 100 runs coming off the last 10 overs. India’s best bowlers were Sharma (2 – 47) and Ravindra Jadeja (3-29).
India in their reply were always up with the run-rate and Rohit Sharma (83) and Suresh Raina (89 not out) saw them home comfortably. Steven Finn was the pick of the England attack, but he suffered as first Jos Buttler and Tim Bresnan allowed a looping catch to fall agonizingly between them and then Raina, on his way to the pavilion after being caught at slip, was reprieved by umpire Davis calling dead ball as Finn performed his party trick of kneeing the stumps in his delivery stride.
There is now opportunity for the two teams to introduce some new faces in the final game of what is now a dead rubber.
The Scoop 23/01/13