Returning Rohit seals series
Rohit Sharma made the most of his surprise recall with an attractive 83 as India opened up an unassailable 3-1 lead in the one-day international series with England courtesy of a hard-fought five-wicket win at Mohali.
A much-maligned figure in India after eight single-figure scores in his last nine ODI innings, Rohit answered his critics in style after being brought in at the top of the order in place of Ajinkya Rahane.
Rohit was reprieved on 12 when a leaping Kevin Pietersen failed to hang on to a difficult one-handed chance at mid-off. Thereafter, he progressed with maturity to underpin a successful chase of 258 that was clinically finished off by Suresh Raina, who contributed 89 not out from 79 deliveries.
Things may have been different had Raina been given out for 41 when edging Steven Finn to slip, with 80 still required and India four down. However, a dead ball was called after the paceman clipped the stumps at the non-striker’s end.
There were positives for England, not least the performance of Joe Root, who followed up battling innings of 76 from Alastair Cook and Kevin Pietersen with an innovative unbeaten 57 that provided further evidence of the young Yorkshireman’s talent.
A total of 257 for seven represented a creditable effort by the tourists, who replaced Craig Kieswetter with Jos Buttler, after India had won the toss and elected to bowl in conditions that favoured the seamers.
Yet Mahendra Singh Dhoni's side were not to be denied and head to Dharamsala for Sunday’s final match on the back of three successive wins.
Cook and Pietersen, brought together by Ishant Sharma’s dismissal of Ian Bell in the 10th over, were forced to work particularly hard for their runs as the ball nipped around for much of the innings.
England’s captain, who capitalised on another quick outfield with 13 fours, eventually departed in unfortunate fashion - lbw to a Ravichandran Ashwin delivery that appeared to pitch some way outside leg stump.
A wobble followed as Eoin Morgan and Samit Patel fell cheaply, but Pietersen accelerated effectively in the closing overs and found a perfect foil in Root, who demonstrated finesse, power and excellent shot-selection after being put down on nought by Virat Kohli.
The impressive Ishant bowled Pietersen with a fine yorker and Ravindra Jadeja struck twice at the death to complete figures of 3-39.
However, England still managed to take 100 from the final 10 overs, with Root completing his maiden ODI fifty after Raina had spilled a sitter at midwicket.
Hopes of a series-levelling win grew when James Tredwell followed up Tim Bresnan’s removal of Gautam Gambhir by having Virat Kohli caught and bowled and Yuvraj Singh lbw in quick succession.
At that stage, the game was in the balance, but Rohit, punishing anything loose, upped the ante alongside Raina and looked set for a hundred before Finn won a debatable lbw verdict with one that looked to be doing too much.
Raina then benefited from his dead-ball let-off to guide India home, sharing 55 with Dhoni, who fell to the expensive Jade Dernbach, and an unbroken 45 with Jadeja.
Live Text Commentary
2:23pm - END OF MATCH - INDIA (258/5; Raina 89 not out) WIN BY FIVE WICKETS AND TAKE THE SERIES - That will be that. An improved display from England after one-sided defeats in Kochi and Ranchi, but India, boosted by fine innings from Rohit and Raina, proved too strong. The hosts make it home with 15 deliveries to spare.
2:15pm - Raina launches Bresnan for an effortless straight six. He will not have the chance to get a hundred here, but this has been a fine knock. Just seven runs are needed from 24 balls.
2:06pm - India are almost home and hosed now. Jadeja has settled in quickly and Raina remains unbeaten on 77.
1:58pm - England are having to find a couple of overs from their part-timers here, with Finn having been bowled out in search of a much-needed wicket. Root is therefore recalled and sees an lbw appeal against Ravindra Jadeja turned down.
1:51pm - WICKET! Dhoni c Morgan b Dernbach 19; Ind 213/5 - Dhoni throws his wicket away by carving a wide delivery from Dernbach straight to point. I fear it could be too little, too late.
1:48pm - Things are looking rather bleak for England now as India bear down on their target. Bresnan is twice punished for veering on to Raina’s pads and the hosts need just 45 more.
1:35pm - FIFTY! Raina (46b 6x4 0x6) - England’s players are not too impressed by that dead-ball call, as it was Finn’s first offence in the innings. Their frustration grows as another edge from Raina flies wide of slip to bring up the batsman’s fifty.
1:25pm - My word, this could be a huge moment. Finn has Raina, driving loosely, caught at slip with the first delivery of the batting powerplay, but England’s celebrations are cut short as umpire Steve Davis calls dead ball. Not for the first time, Finn was guilty of clipping the stumps at the non-striker’s end.
1:22pm - That is simply wonderful from Raina; the left-hander skips down the track and drives Root past the cover fielder. There is a stumping appeal next ball, but Raina just got his foot down in time after initially overbalancing. India require 80 from 15 overs.
1:17pm - Dhoni and Raina, seemingly ignoring the orthodox approach to calling, indulge in some pretty hopeless running between the wickets in a tight over from Bresnan. Another lbw appeal from Finn, this time against Raina, is turned down before Dhoni drives effortlessly down the ground for four.
1:08pm - Mahendra Singh Dhoni, batting in Ishant Sharma’s jumper, gets off the mark immediately with a glance to the fine-leg fence. India’s captain is rapped on the pad next ball, but it looked like he just about got outside the line. That may also have been a tad high. Good stuff from Finn, though. He has revived England’s hopes here.
1pm - WICKET! Rohit lbw Finn 83; Ind 158/4 - A deft paddle-sweep takes Rohit into the eighties. This has been an excellent effort from a player heavily criticised in sections of the Indian media throughout 2012. However, it’s all over now!! Finn, who bowled well up front without reward, wins an lbw verdict with his first ball back. I think Rohit was unfortunate there, as that looked to be doing a little too much, but England will not mind one bit!
12:53pm - As I mentioned before play, no Indian has ever scored an ODI hundred in Mohali, but Rohit is firmly on course. The fifty partnership arrives from just 37 balls and even Tredwell cannot stem the flow of runs at present. Raina gets away with a miscued pull off Dernbach but then connects cleanly with a similar stroke that takes India beyond 150.
12:45pm - Dernbach concedes 11 on his return to the attack as Raina collects two leg-side boundaries. India have regained the upper hand very swiftly following Yuvraj’s departure.
12:40pm - England could do with getting rid of Rohit pretty soon. He is batting beautifully now, epitomised by a glorious cut off Tredwell that brings his 10th boundary.
12:36pm - Buoyed by his recent landmark, Rohit gives the run-rate a lift in some style. He steps down the pitch to plant Tredwell for a straight six and then collects swept fours off the Kent spinner and Patel, who has replaced Root. Raina produces a mirror-image of his partner’s aerial sweep to register his first four.
12:30pm - FIFTY! Rohit (73b 6x4 0x6) - Rohit, who now has Suresh Raina for company, moves to 50 with a nudge into the leg side off Root. Tredwell’s double-strike has slowed India’s progress.
12:20pm - WICKET! Yuvraj lbw Tredwell 3; Ind 90/3 - Tredwell gets Yuvi again, for the fourth time in as many matches! The left-hander is struck in front of leg stump attempting a deft sweep.
12:18pm - Off-spin from both ends now, with Joe Root looking to add to his excellent batting display. The hosts require 169 from 168 balls.
12:10pm - The much-maligned Rohit is answering his critics pretty well so far. He paddle-sweeps Tredwell to the fine-leg rope to provide India with a welcome boundary. Their progress thus far is very similar to England’s before them. This match could go either way.
12:03pm - Yuvraj Singh is the new man at the crease for India. He has fallen victim to Tredwell in each of the previous three matches and appears wary of this fact as he defends cautiously against England’s in-form off-spinner.
11:53am - WICKET! Kohli c & b Tredwell 26; Ind 72/2 - England turn to James Tredwell and the move pays dividends! Kohli is seemingly deceived in the flight by the off-spinner and offers up a simple return catch.
11:50am - Dernbach gets his line right to draw a thick edge from Kohli, but the ball flies through the vacant slip region for four. A single brings up the fifty partnership.
11:42am - Wide again from Dernbach and this is not what England need; Kohli cuts for four more and India end the 14th over on 60 for one.
11:38am - Dernbach comes on and offers too much width with his first three deliveries, which are all cut to the sweeper on the boundary. Rohit takes advantage of another poor ball by going aerial over gully. Samit Patel is then introduced and Kohli picks up his first four with a lofted straight drive.
11:30am - Kohli has yet to settle, illustrated by a play-and-miss outside off against Finn. The batsman sends a top-edge skywards next ball, but it drops safely between wicketkeeper Jos Buttler and Bresnan, running in from fine-leg.
11:25am - You cannot bowl short on this pitch. Finn does and is whipped over the leg-side infield for four by Rohit, who then produces another fine pull stroke to collect four more off Bresnan. India end the powerplay on 35 for one. England were two runs better off at this stage in their innings.
11:17am - DROPPED CHANCE - Ooh, that was close!! Rohit, on 12, doesn’t get hold of an attempted thrash over mid-off, but a leaping Kevin Pietersen can’t quite cling on to a tough one-handed chance. Two balls later, Kohli mis-times a drive at Bresnan and is relieved to see the ball land marginally short of the same fielder. A couple of let-offs for India!
11:11am - Virat Kohli, the star man in Ranchi last week, is beaten all ends up first ball. England would love to see the back of India’s number three as soon as possible.
11:08am - WICKET! Gambhir c Buttler b Bresnan 10; Ind 20/1 - That’s more like it from Bresnan! He lands one on a good length and has Gambhir caught behind, although the batsman did not appear happy with the decision. I don’t think there was any edge as Gambhir played a cross-batted stroke.
11:06am - Samit Patel gives away two overthrows with a bizarre lob over the stumps from about five yards. Not sure what happened there; the ball must have slipped. Bresnan concedes four to Gambhir through point, but Finn is proving much more threatening and sends one whizzing past Rohit’s outside edge. After 11 dot balls in a row, Finn errs in length and is clipped through midwicket.
10:58am - Tim Bresnan is preferred to Jade Dernbach at the other end and quickly discovers that dropping short is not a good idea as Rohit pulls confidently for four. Finn shows the way with a probing maiden to the right-hander.
10:49am - Steven Finn follows the lead of Ishant Sharma by finding a good, in-between length in the first over. On the one occasion when he does over-pitch, Gambhir drives to the left of mid-off for four.
10:44am - India’ s reply is about to get under way and Gautam Gambhir has a new opening partner in Rohit Sharma, who many feel is fortunate to have regained his place. Let's see if he can make the most of his opportunity.
10:05am - END OF INNINGS - Eng 257/7; Root 57 not out - Root brings up a superb fifty (43b 7x4 1x6) by pulling Ahmed for four. Another boundary down the ground follows next ball and James Tredwell also finds the fence before the innings comes to an end. England added exactly 100 in the final 10 overs. Will it be enough? We will find out shortly.
9:59am - WICKET! Bresnan c Yuvraj b Jadeja 0; Eng 241/7 - Jadeja gets another man caught at point, Tim Bresnan lasting just two deliveries.
9:57am - WICKET! Buttler c Yuvraj b Jadeja 14; Eng 241/6 - Jos Buttler gets in on the act, thumping Jadeja back over the bowler’s head for six before picking up four more through midwicket. The next ball is fired in wide, however, and Buttler can only pick out the fielder at point.
9:53am - DROPPED CHANCE - Root top-edges a sweep off Jadeja but sees Raina put down an absolute sitter at midwicket. In the next over, Root reverse-sweeps Ishant (yes, you read that right) for four – what a stunning shot that was! England have 231 on the board with 12 balls to come.
9:46am - WICKET! Pietersen b Ishant 76; Eng 220/5 - The impressive Root gets down on one knee to scoop Ishant over fine-leg and Pietersen then demonstrates his power in smashing consecutive balls over extra-cover and wide long-on for four and six. Ishant gains belated revenge by bowling Pietersen with a full delivery, but England have made healthy progress in the last 15 minutes.
9:38am - This is what England were looking for. Pietersen flays Ahmed past mid-off and mid-on in the 44th over, before Root carts Ashwin over midwicket for a maximum. The Yorkshire youngster then cuts for four more before Pietersen clears the infield at mid-off. Twenty-seven runs have come from the last two overs.
9:29am - FIFTY! Pietersen (84b 3x4 0x6) - That’s clever from Raina, who sees Pietersen coming and tries to fire one down the leg side. The batsman sticks his pad out to prevent a stumping chance and then edges through the vacant slip region to bring up his half-century.
9:25am - Dhoni calls upon Suresh Raina’s gentle off-spin – an interesting move at this stage. The part-timer is unsuccessful with an optimistic leg-before appeal against Pietersen, but will be content to concede just four in his first over. Root then leans into a glorious cover drive off Ahmed. We will take a few more of those!
9:18am - Root is a good sweeper of spin and finds the rope at deep backward square in an otherwise quiet over from Jadeja. Ishant is bang on the money again thereafter. He has shown England’s seamers exactly where to bowl on this pitch, which continues to offer seam movement. With 10 overs remaining, the tourists are 157 for four.
9:10am - DROPPED CHANCE - Jadeja completes a second successive maiden. Joe Root then edges Ishant to first slip, but Virat Kohli cannot take a one-handed chance to his left and the ball runs away for four.
9:04am - WICKET! Patel c & b Jadeja 1; Eng 142/4 - Ishant almost cuts Pietersen in half with a gorgeous nip-backer. India strike again soon after as Jadeja holds a low return catch to account for Patel. A partnership is desperately needed now!
8:58am - Samit Patel joins Pietersen and plays out a maiden from Jadeja. The batting powerplay will now be taken. Can England get going again?
8:54am - WICKET! Morgan c Yuvraj b Ashwin 3; Eng 138/3 - There is no doubt about this dismissal. Eoin Morgan, promoted to four, gets a leading edge and is caught by the fielder running back from mid-on. England have further reason to rue Cook’s unfortunate departure.
8:45am - WICKET! Cook lbw Ashwin 76; Eng 132/2 - Dear oh dear. After sweeping the expensive Ashwin for four, Cook is adjudged lbw to a ball that appeared to pitch well outside leg stump. He can barely believe it, and neither can I!
8:38am - Pietersen is bowled...but only from a dead ball that saw the batsman pull away just as Ashwin entered his delivery stride. There is no appeal from India and Pietersen has a chuckle with Mahendra Singh Dhoni. With 30 overs gone and two men well set, it is time for England to step on the gas.
8:32am - Ashwin twice drops short and is cut to the point fence by Cook on each occasion. We saw that shot countless times in the Test series between these two teams before Christmas. A dreadful mis-field from Ishant sees Pietersen pick up four in Ashwin’s next over. The run-rate is now above four and rising.
8:22am - Ravindra Jadeja, England’s non-spinning nemesis in this series, is introduced and concedes seven in his first over, which features a powerful slog-swept four from Cook.
8:13am - FIFTY! Cook (74b 9x4 0x6) - Cook is leading by example here. After underlining the need for England’s top order to fire, he has dug in with a gritty innings. Keep going skipper!
8:11am - Pietersen produces his first shot of authority, a majestic straight drive off Ashwin that races away for four. After scoring two runs from 21 deliveries at the start of his innings, KP has added 15 from 14 balls and is starting to look settled.
8:07am - The run-rate, just below four, is not particularly great, but I think England will be satisfied with their progress thus far, having talked about the need to keep wickets in hand. Bhuvneshwar returns to bowl his ninth over and keeps things tight once again.
8am - Pietersen looks far more comfortable against Ashwin, who is unable to find any turn in his first set of six. Cook, meanwhile, is approaching 50 and a large percentage of his runs have come in boundaries; he picks up a ninth four with a leg-glance off Ahmed.
7:52am - This is a real struggle for Pietersen at the moment. He can barely lay bat on ball, but he is still there. Ravichandran Ashwin enters the attack.
7:47am - I have not seen Ishant bowl this well for a long time. The tall, long-haired paceman can often be erratic, but today he is finding the perfect length to exploit the seam movement on offer. He beats Cook on two more occasions, although there is respite for England at the end of the over; a leg-side wide is followed by a short ball that Cook pulls for four.
7:41am - A thick edge through square-leg enables Pietersen to pick up his first runs. Drinks are subsequently taken with England 53 for one after 15 overs.
7:36am - Another good over from Ishant, who is sticking to an excellent line and length outside off stump. His only loose delivery is clipped down to fine-leg by Cook, who now has 33. Pietersen has yet to score.
7:27am - Cook keeps the boundary count ticking with a well-timed push down the ground. Kevin Pietersen is then struck on the right elbow by Ishant and reels away in agony. After a brief stoppage, England’s number three is able to continue and survives an lbw appeal when struck marginally outside the line. Ishant is causing all sorts of problems.
7:12am - WICKET! Bell c Bhuvneshwar b Ishant 10; Eng 37/1 - Frustrated by Ishant’s accuracy, Bell shimmies down the pitch and attempts to clear mid-off. He succeeds only in slicing the ball high to third man, however, where Bhuvneshwar takes a fine catch.
7:08am - Ishant Sharma takes over from Ahmed and beats Cook with his first delivery. The new balls continue to nip around, but Cook picks up a fifth four, to the right of mid-off, when Bhuvneshwar over-pitches.
7am - Bell follows Cook’s lead - and spoils Bhuvneshwar’s previously excellent figures - with fours on either side of the wicket. England have 32 on the board after seven overs.
6:55am - This is excellent from Bhuvneshwar, who is starting to find extravagant movement. Bell survives a stifled lbw appeal before Cook is well beaten outside off. The captain responds with a trio of fours off Ahmed, with two well-timed strokes through midwicket sandwiching a push to the cover rope.
6:48am - Bhuvneshwar maintains a probing line in a maiden to Bell. England pick up their first boundary in the next over as Cook drives through cover, before slashing at thin air to one that seamed away.
6:40am - Shami Ahmed strikes Ian Bell on the pad first up, but the ball was sliding down the leg side. India’s new-ball pair are finding some assistance through the air, as anticipated, although this looks a decent pitch.
6:34am - There is still a degree of mist as play gets under way. Alastair Cook is off the mark immediately with a single, but then plays and misses later in Bhuvneshwar Kumar’s opening over, which yields two runs off the bat and two wides.
6:25am - There was quite a lot of fog around the ground this morning, but I’m pleased to tell you that it is much clearer in Mohali now. Cook admitted England had hoped to bowl themselves, with overhead conditions expected to favour the seamers early on. Buttler, meanwhile, is winning only his second ODI cap, although the Somerset wicketkeeper-batsman has previously demonstrated his talent in Twenty20 cricket for England.
6:15am - Here are the teams in full:
India: Gautam Gambhir, Rohit Sharma, Virat Kohli, Yuvraj Singh, Suresh Raina, Mahendra Singh Dhoni (captain), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Ishant Sharma, Shami Ahmed.
England: Alastair Cook (captain), Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Joe Root, Eoin Morgan, Jos Buttler, Samit Patel, Tim Bresnan, James Tredwell, Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach.
6:05am - INDIA WIN THE TOSS AND BOWL - Mahendra Singh Dhoni wins another toss and sticks England in for the second successive match. Jos Buttler replaces Craig Kieswetter in the tourists’ line-up. India bring in Rohit Sharma for the out-of-form Ajinkya Rahane at the top of the order.
5:50am - The toss will take place shortly and we will find out whether England have opted to make changes to their team. In the meantime, here’s a statistic for you. There have been six ODI hundreds scored in Mohali, but none by an Indian.
5:40am - It is not difficult to pinpoint the reasons for England’s losses in Kochi and Ranchi. Ashley Giles, Cook and Ian Bell have all acknowledged the need for the tourists’ top order to deliver, as they did in Rajkot.
5:30am - Good morning everyone and welcome to ecb.co.uk’s live coverage of the fourth one-day international between India and England in Mohali. The hosts have come from behind to lead 2-1, which means Alastair Cook’s side must avoid defeat today to keep the series alive.