India won by 126 runs
England continued their superb run of one day form against India in their own conditions (2 wins in the last 13) and slumped to a thumping defeat.
The game was going the tourists’ way as the first innings wore on, they had restricted India to just 139/4 from the first 34 overs and must have been looking at a chase no bigger than 250. Then the ghosts of ODI sides past sneaked in while no one was looking and possessed England for the rest of the game. The chief architect of India’s late assault was the captain, MS Dhoni, his early summer form now a thing of the past as he went past his fourth 50 in successive games. He finished on an unbeaten 87 and, supported by Ravindra Jadeja, who took a particular liking to Samit Patel’s pie chuckers, turned the game completely on its head.
Despite conceding a total far higher than they should have, England began their reply reasonably well. The much-maligned (in one day cricket) pairing of Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott were looking comfortable and seemed to be setting up a platform from which the lower middle order could attack the target later on. Unfortunately, that particular cunning plan was hunted down and mauled by dogs as they completely fell apart in a crazy spell of four wickets in four overs for 15 runs. Both Cook and Trott threw their wickets away, before Jonny Bairstow, hyped beyond belief after his blistering hundred in the second warm-up match, committed the ultimate sin of ‘doing what Ravi Bopara does’ and managed to chip one back to the bowler as well. Far be it from us to read too much into things, but this is now the second game in a row England have collapsed in comical fashion to a pretty average bowling attack. Try as they might, they just can’t quite leave the 90’s behind.
India will be glad to return to the field having wandered about in a state of extreme confusion over the past couple of days wondering what this weird happy feeling is. They still have questions to answer regarding their top order and their seam attack, neither of which did particularly well on Friday. It’ll be interesting to see if either side goes in with three spinners in Delhi, especially as it turns out that without their two best players of spin in Morgan and Lord Bell England look extremely vulnerable to that line of attack. In all probability Bell and Scott Borthwick will come into the side at some point, but the current XI may get a chance to redeem themselves first.