January 11, 2013
India had never chased more than 325 to win an ODI on home soil and, if the old India might have regarded England as ripe for the taking, this present side lacks the same formidable presence. They came close, but when Ishant Sharma was left to hit Jade Dernbach's last two balls for six to win the match, India probably knew in their hearts that the game was up.
England had lost 16 of their last 18 ODIs in India and two defeats in their warm-up matches did not auger well, but they served up a victory for their new limited-overs coach, Ashley Giles, at the first time of asking and will now face the rest of the five-match series in the belief that they are in an even series.
January 23, 2013
England fought hard to assemble a respectable total on a cold, wintry day in the Punjab, but when the fog cleared the view was a familiar one: another defeat in a one-day series in India. India's pursuit of 258 was far from trouble free, but a winning margin of five wickets with 15 balls to spare was emphatic enough and left them 3-1 up one to play.
Instead of a dead rubber in ODI in Dharamsala, in the foothills of the Himalayas, England would be forgiven for fancying a spot of skiing, but sadly for them the weather forecast is improving and only the cricket is going downhill. A record extended to 18 ODI defeats in their last 20 in India is proof of that.
January 23, 2013
An irritation that has plagued England for months flared up once again as Steven Finn's propensity for dislodging the bails in his delivery stride cost his side an important wicket - who knows, perhaps even the series - in the fourth ODI of the series against India.
Finn thought he had dismissed Suresh Raina only to see that the umpire, Steve Davis, had signalled dead ball on the basis of Law 23.4(b)(vi), which states that the batsman should not be dismissed if he has been distracted while preparing to receive a delivery.
“ It was in the gents! That was nice, for my first meeting with the match referee Ashley Giles reveals an unusual setting for a quick word from match referee Andy Pycroft ”
January 27, 2013
Any side that wants to be confirmed as the best in the world can never be satisfied with a series defeat but, bearing in mind England's ODI record in India and their weakened state, then they can depart India both quietly encouraged and slightly frustrated.
Yes, the final victory came in a dead rubber. Yes, this is an Indian side in something of transition. And yes, each of the five games in this series was won by the team that won the toss. For all those reasons, it would be wrong to read too much into these results or the fact that only decimal points separate England and India at the top of the ODI rankings table. It is success in global events that will continue to define limited-overs success.