After a complete washout in England, India finally exacted revenge with a resounding ODI series win at the PCA Stadium in Mohali on Thursday. But more than avenging the defeat, it's redemption that has been achieved by the Indians.
Faced with a tough chase of 298 runs, India finally ended on the winning side but England, for the first time in the series, gave a fight. India were comfortably cruising towards victory till the tipping point came in the form of three quick wickets of Gautam Gambhir (58), Virat Kohli (35) and Suresh Raina (0), that brought England back in the game. However, skipper MS Dhoni (35) and Ravindra Jadeja (26) squeezed through the crunch as England faltered in the final stages.
The seeds of victory were sown by rookie Ajinkya Rahane (91) who played a calculated innings to give India the edge early on. Playing with soft hands, flicking and opening the face of the blade, he exploited pace of the English quicks. The Mumbai batsman late cut and chipped tweakers to steal singles.
His near-perfect timing was the standout feature of his batting as the English bowling looked clueless for a major part of the innings.
Earlier, Jonathan Trott (98 no, 116b, 8x4) put in all his might to keep England in the game, and in the series. With a knock that did good not only to his team but to his own place in the team as well, the underfire Warwickshire batsman held the innings together and helped put 298/4.
England skipper Alastair Cook reposed more faith in batsmen than bowlers by opting to bat first on a seamer-friendly wicket and the batting show justified the decision. Kevin Pietersen (64) and Craig Kieswetter (36) added their bit in augmenting the total. But it was Trott who cautiously walked the distance.
England would have still found themselves way short of expectations had Samit Patel's surge in last four overs not propped up the total. He hit 70 crucial runs, his slog directed especially against Vinay Kumar and Umesh Yadav.
For India, a lot was expected of seamers on a friendly track. They struck early but also went in for runs. Instead, it was Ravichandran Ashwin and Jadeja who choked the flow of runs in the middle overs. India erred in fielding, but England surpassed them by leaking singles. Kieswetter also dropped Gambhir and Virat Kohli behind the stumps besides also missing an easy run-out chance which benefited Jadeja.