Vineet Sharma/Zeenews Sports
Mohali: India emerged victorious in a roller coaster of swinging fortunes in the third ODI by 5 wickets to seal the series 3-0 in their favour.
In the end, it was skipper MS Dhoni (35*) and Ravindra Jadeja (26*) standing tall on the turf with the ODI series in their pockets.
England did come back strongly to peg the Indian hopes back as Virat Kohli got out lbw to Graeme Swann at a score of 35 runs. The quick fall of wickets and the growing required run-rate meant headache for the new men on the crease –Dhoni and Jadeja. The two had a big task cut out and they played their part with precision.
The scorecard looked worrisome 235/5 at the fall of Kohli’s wicket after the visitors had just before inflicted a double blow to get back into the game, with Tim Bresnan claiming Suresh Raina for a duck as the asking rate grew by the ball.
Before Raina’s fiasco, Ajinkya Rahane missed a chance to score as century as he was claimed at a score of 91 runs off Steven Finn’s slower one.
Gautam Gambhir carried off from where he left in the last match, scoring a brisk half-century to put India at the doorstep of a series win but was out at a score of 58 runs. Kevin Pietersen literally flew in the air to pluck Gambhir out to give his team some iota of hope as the death overs neared.
India had lost its first wicket in the form of Parthiv Patel at a score of 38 runs (46 balls) who was not happy with the lbw decision. Bresnan was the man of the moment with the vital breakthrough as the scorecard read 79/1 (15.4 Ovs).
Openers Patel and Rahane had started the run-chase on a positive note, with the impetus on rotating the strike and retaining wickets in the early part of the match.
The regular boundaries also helped the run-rate hover near required average as the Mohali crowds cheered the Men in Blue on to seal the series.
Jonathan Trott played a magnificent innings of 98 unbeaten runs to take the English scorecard to 298/4 in the stipulated 50 overs in the crucial encounter at Mohali.
Samit Patel too pitched-in with his maiden ODI fifty to help Trott set up the ideal total for his team in the do-or-die tie. The cameo spurred the run-rate in the death overs, making his name count against the tough Indian squad as he ended the day with a massive six.
Ravi Bopara however, could not build up on his work as his middle stump was uprooted by Praveen Kumar with a Yorker as soon as he was introduced back into the attack.
Earlier in the day, Kevin Pietersen came in all guns blazing at a juncture when England needed him to click and he clicked big time, smashing a quick fifty and consolidated on the time lost. He was however, claimed lbw by Ravindra Jadeja at a score of 64 runs.
Pietersen, along with Jonathan Trott, had steadied the visitors’ innings to an extent with a centurion run-a-ball partnership.
Before the saving act, Virat Kohli had affected a breakthrough just when the duo of Craig Kieswetter and Trott started looking comfortable. Kohli clean bowled Kieswetter at a score of 36 runs to expose the middle order in the thirteenth over itself.
Before the fall of the second scalp, India speedster Vinay Kumar smelled success early-on in the match, trapping skipper Alastair Cook in front of the wicket with a brilliant late swinging delivery.
Cook took the long walk back to the pavilion after scoring just 3 runs as the scorecard read 8/1 at the fall of the first scalp.
Cook had won the toss and decided to bat first in the third ODI against India.
The home team have already won the first two matches of the five-match series and a win today will help them seal the series.
Both the teams decided to field an unchanged side for the third ODI.
England (Playing XI): Alastair Cook(c), Craig Kieswetter(w), Jonathan Trott, Kevin Pietersen, Ravi Bopara, Jonathan Bairstow, Samit Patel, Tim Bresnan, Graeme Swann, Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach
India (Playing XI): Parthiv Patel, Ajinkya Rahane, Gautam Gambhir, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina, MS Dhoni(w/c), Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Praveen Kumar, Vinay Kumar, Umesh Yadav
Pitch Report: There is some grass on the track, and it will help the pacers. The bounce will be good and consistent, which means the ball will come on to the bat nicely. Despite the grass, this will be a 250 + pitch. England's pacers will enjoy bowling on this track, but don't forget that India have bowlers who can make use of the conditions as well.