India v England: Jadeja stars as hosts thrash Cook’s side in Kochi
India v England: Ravindra Jadeja stars with the bat and ball as the hosts thrash Alastair Cook's men by 127 runs in Kochi
Ravindra Jadeja’s fantastic all-round performance helped India to a 127-run victory over England in Kochi, squaring the one-day international series with three to play.
The 24-year-old smashed 61 off 37 balls in a partnership with captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (72) to lift India up to 285 off their 50 overs.
With the ball, Jadeja picked up two for 12 after Bhuvneshwar Kumar had taken the wickets of Alastair Cook, Kevin Pietersen and Eoin Morgan as England crumbled to 158 all out.
The tourists started resolutely enough in their chase despite losing Ian Bell early on after he thrashed at a wide Shami Ahmed ball.
Kumar had other ideas though, and with England on 58, Cook was dismissed leg-before despite the ball looking like it had pitched out the line leg stump.
Four overs later, two more wickets fell. Pietersen was bowled for 42 and Morgan for a second-ball duck to leave the tourists teetering on 73-4.
Kumar had taken three of England’s top order out of the equation in 15 balls, costing just eight runs.
It was left to the relatively unknown quantity of the lower middle order to get the tourists over the line – a challenge that was too great for them.
Craig Kieswetter and Joe Root, batting out his first innings in ODIs, went about the precarious repair process.
Although the pair soaked up the pressure created by the loss of three quick wickets, the scoring rate barely moved. Kieswetter, in particular, was unable seemingly to rotate the strike and at one stage had scored just one off 19 deliveries.
England were slipping further behind and something had to give when Kieswetter was out for 18, chipping Ashwin to mid-wicket. He was followed by a battling Root, who was bowled by Jadeja on 36 – and the match was all but over.
Woakes was caught in front for a duck in the following Jadeja over, bringing James Tredwell to the crease. He lasted 10 balls for one ball before being dismissed leg-before off Ashwin.
Steve Finn was out next to leave Jade Dernbach to negotiate the hat-trick ball. Soon afterwards, the tailender was run out as Samit Patel attempted to retain the strike.
Earlier in the day, Finn and Dernbach both struck early in India’s innings, capturing the wickets of Gautam Gambhir and Ajinkya Rahane in successive overs.
Swing and seam movement accounted for India’s opening pair on a wicket that did offer something for the pace bowlers.
Yuvraj Singh and Virat Kohli went some way to repairing the damage, putting together a fifty partnership to steady the ship.
However, a switch to spin brought rewards straight away when Yuvraj was adjudged leg-before off Tredwell sweeping – a decision that the left-hander did not take too kindly to.
Replays showed the ball may have touched the glove before hitting the pad. Without the use of DRS for the series, there was little Yuvraj could do.
Kohli made good progress and he tried to work himself into some form after a recent run of 9, 27, 0, 6, and 7 since the start of the Pakistan series.
Sadly for the 24-year-old, a rush of blood saw him caught on the cover boundary by Bell for 37 off Woakes.
Dhoni and Suresh Raina constructed a fifty partnership off 78 balls to haul India back into the contest. But a rash Raina shot – which would have infuriated his captain at the other end – after reaching his 26th ODI half-century put paid to hopes of a total of 300.
Once more the skipper, 31, assembled another invaluable partnership, this time with Jadeja. The duo hit 92 off the last ten overs to take their side to 285 – a fighting total after being 119-4 after 26 overs.
It was a score that proved too difficult for England in wake of a top-drawer performance from Jadeja and company.