India end England tour without a victory, lose final ODI by 6 wkts.
Disappointing end to Dravids illustrious ODI career.
ASHISH SHUKLA Cardiff
India signed off their nightmarish tour of England without a win
as they were spanked by six wickets in the rain- marred fifth and final one- dayer bringing a disappointing end to veteran Rahul Dravids illustrious ODI cricket career here.
Put into bat, India rode on a fluent century from Virat Kohli ( 107) and substantial contributions from Dravid ( 69) and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni ( 50 not out) to post an impressive 304 for six on a batting- friendly Sophia Gardens pitch here on Friday.
Chasing the challenging target and their innings interrupted by intermittent rain, England were 166 for four in the 26th over but recovered to race to the revised target of 241 from 34 overs with 10 balls to spare.
The hosts won the series 3- 0 after one match was rained out and another ended in a tie.
Jonathan Trott ( 63) and captain Alastair Cook ( 50) were the main contributors in the successful chase.
Debutant Jonny Bairstow and Ravi Bopara, who knocked off the winning runs, also chipped in with unbeaten knocks of 41 and 37 respectively.
The target was revised twice earlier as the start of England run chase was delayed due to rain. First it was revised to 295 from 47 overs and then to 270 from 40 overs. It was finally set at 241 from 34 overs and England reached the target comfortably.
With the loss, India return home without any win in the disastrous tour. They were whitewashed 0- 4 in the four- match Test series, beaten in the one- off Twenty20 International before ending the tour by losing the ODI series.
The disappointing performance, one of the worst ever, meant that India slipped to fifth position in the ICC ODI rankings with England a rung above.
England made merry on Indias misery as besides the toothless attack, the wet outfield also did not help whatever was left of Indias bowling.
Before the first rain interruption came during their innings, England had lost opener Craig Kieswetter for 21, lbw to Vinay Kumar, after the hard- hitting opener had faced only 17 balls and hit four fours.
Cook and Trott then built a 79- run stand for the second wicket off 82 balls between another rain- interruption before the former was bowled by Virat Kohli. A ball before, Cook was let off by Rahul Dravid at short fine leg.
Cook made exactly 50 runs off 54 balls but England still appeared on course after new man Ian Bell lost little time in hitting big shots.
The left- arm spin of Ravinder Jadeja was a cannon to fodder for the two batsmen as they took 21 runs in his fourth over, Bell hitting two and Trott helping himself to a six.
India appeared to have got back into the game when they picked out Bell and Trott within a space of six runs. Bell hit out straight to long- off after making 26 off 21 balls with two sixes and Trott hit straight to pointcover, scoring 63 off 60 balls with three fours and two sixes.
England were now 166 for 4 in the 26th over, still needing 75 runs off 50 balls.
But debutant Jonathan Bairstow made it a cakewalk for England with some stunning shots. The youngster was almost savage in his attack and showed no nerves in smashing 41 runs off 21 balls with one four and three sixes.
Even though his partner Ravi Bopara was not a slouch himself, scoring 37 runs off 22 balls, it was Bairstows brutality, which broke Indiansalt39spirit.
The two put on 75 runs for the unseparated fifth- wicket off only 40 balls.
Earlier, Kohli slammed a fluent century and Dravid made his final One- Day innings count with a solid 69 as India posted an impressive 304 for six after being put in to bat.
Kohli ( 107) and Dravid led Indias batting charge with a 170- run stand for the third wicket off 160 balls and captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni ( 50 not out off 26 balls) turned the heat with a blistering unbeaten half century in the