Brutal Bairstow condemns India
England completed a miserable tour for India by chasing a stiff, rain-reduced target to win the NatWest Series 3-0.
That margin of victory lifted the hosts above the world champions to fourth in the International Cricket Council one-day rankings, just as they went top of the Test table at the tourists’ expense with a 4-0 whitewash in the npower series.
Those results, allied with England’s win in the one-off Twenty20 international, meant India failed to beat their hosts during a devastating, if injury-ravaged, two-month tour.
The failure of Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side to win this game was hard to take given they made their highest score of the trip: 304 for six from 50 overs.
That was shortened to 270 from 40 and, after the players were forced off with England 53 for one in the 10th, 241 from 34.
If the latter seemed an intimidating target, the hosts made light work of the chase, getting home by six wickets with 10 balls to spare at Cardiff's SWALEC Stadium.
Jonathan Trott and Alastair Cook, this week crowned ICC Player of the Year and Test Player of the Year respectively, continued to defy criticism their games are not suited to the one-day arena with fluent fifties.
Jonny Bairstow, who was man of the match on international debut, and Ravi Bopara then completed the job courtesy of some blistering hitting down the ground. They finished unbeaten on 41 from 21 balls and 37 from 22 respectively.
Virat Kohli, who struck his sixth ODI hundred, earlier dominated a Cardiff record 170-run stand with Rahul Dravid, who signed off from ODIs with a half-century.
They came together with England, who won the toss, on top at 57 for two in the 16th over. Having eschewed risk to rebuild, Kohli then accelerated to three figures in the middle overs.
Graeme Swann, who claimed 3-34 from nine overs, snared Dravid, playing his 334th and final ODI, and Kohli in quick succession. However, player of the series Dhoni smashed 50 not out from 26 balls to take his side beyond 300.
Rain delayed the start after Cook won his fifth toss of the rubber and, like on the previous four occasions, decided to field first.
England made three changes from Sunday’s tie at Lord’s. James Anderson was rested while Ben Stokes, who picked up a finger blow in training, and Stuart Broad, who suffered a muscle tear in his right shoulder at HQ, were missing.
Bairstow, added to the squad yesterday, came in alongside recalled duo Samit Patel and Jade Dernbach. Vinay Kumar replaced Praveen Kumar, who sustained an ankle injury playing football, in India’s only change.
Steven Finn, who included a maiden in a seven-over opening spell that cost just 23, showed similar discipline to his display at Lord’s, again without reward.
He had Ajinkya Rahane dropped on nine by Patel at third man and the right-hander took advantage with two fours in the next over, bowled by Tim Bresnan.
With the bowling powerplay taken at the earliest opportunity, Finn made amends for Patel’s spill by diving in the same position off Dernbach to dismiss Rahane for 26.
Swann, as he has so often for England, broke through in his first over as Parthiv Patel miscued to mid-on.
Dravid and Kohli picked up a four in each of the next four overs but Patel’s introduction, bowling in conjunction with Swann, halted the flow of boundaries.
Dravid brought up the half-century stand before Swann concerningly left the field, having slipped attempting to stop the ball, but he returned with his left ankle strapped.
Kohli heralded his fifty and India’s 150 in an over from Bopara and he accelerated with two fours from a Dernbach set of six.
Dravid was reprieved a run aftergoing to 50 as Dernbach could not hold a caught-and-bowled chance to his left. Kohli then upped the ante by hitting Patel for consecutive fours followed by a straight six later in the over.
That hurried him to 96 but he made sure of reaching three figures with four singles, the last off Swann, who next ball beat Dravid’s uncharacteristic heave to leg on 69.
England unsuccessfully reviewed Finn’s caught behind appeal against Kohli, who went for 107 from 93 balls by treading on his stumps in the next over - the 44th - after which the batting powerplay was taken.
Suresh Raina smote Bresnan down the ground for a maximum and the seamer came in for more punishment when Dhoni clobbered two fours and a six in his next as 51 came from the powerplay.
Finn, whose 10 overs cost 44, picked up a deserved wicket when Raina skied to extra-cover on 15. Ravindra Jadeja hoisted Dernbach to deep midwicket for a golden duck in the final over, but Patel’s second spill allowed Dhoni his second six.
Craig Kieswetter picked up four fours in England’s first three overs, but fell for 21 to a dubious lbw verdict with Vinay’s delivery heading down leg.
Cook collected a couple of fours before Trott smote his first ODI maximum, dead straight off Munaf Patel, in the immediately-taken two-over bowling powerplay.
With the target adjusted a second time, Munaf thought he had Trott caught at mid-off only to find he had over-stepped.
The slippery outfield saw Munaf tumble and carried off on a stretcher, and Cook followed him back to the pavilion next over for a 54-ball 50. Dravid spilled a sitter off Kohli at short fine-leg when Cook swept, but the medium-pacer beat the skipper’s heave next ball.
Ian Bell was quickly into his stride as he flayed two sixes and Trott another, all down the ground, to take 21 from Jadeja’s third over.
Trott went to a fifty but he lost Bell, who clubbed RP Singh to long-off on 26, and Trott followed for 63 from 60 deliveries when he chipped Jadeja to backward point.
Bairstow announced himself, slog-sweeping Jadeja for a four and six before he struck two more maximums and Bopara another in a profitable three-over batting powerplay which yielded 42 runs and effectively settled the result.