England started well with the bat
India sealed the one-day series against England as the hosts rode on the batting heroics of Rohit Sharma (83) and Suresh Raina (89 not out) to fashion a comfortable five-wicket victory in the penultimate game and take an unassailable 3-1 lead in Mohali on Wednesday.
The Indians first restricted the visitors to 257 for seven and then overcame some anxious moments before overhauling the target with 15 balls to spare in a floodlit contest played in cold conditions at the PCA stadium.
England's openers hold out quite bravely out in the middle despite the conditions being stacked against them.
Both Kumar and Shami, who proved to be a little expensive in the first spell, troubled the batsmen as openers Cook and Ian Bell played and missed on a few occasions. But they were lucky not to edge the ball.
Image: Shami Ahmed reacts after bowling to Alastair Cook
Cook, Pietersen keep scoreboard moving
Kevin Pietersen, who joined the action after Bell's dismissal, started off watchfully and took some time to get off the mark.
The experienced duo of Cook and Pietersen kept the scoreboard moving with gentle nudges and pushes and did not take too many risks as they steered England past the 100-mark.
Pietersen made 76, his 93-ball innings inclusive of seven hits to the fence and one over it.
Image: Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook
Cook triggers off a collapse
The departure of Cook triggered off a collapse of sorts as Eoin Morgan (3) and Samit Patel (1) perished in quick succession with England slipping from a comfortable 132 for one to 142 for four.
The visitors could have suffered another jolt on the same score but Virat Kohli dropped a catch at first slip off Joe Roots when he had not even opened his account with Ishant being the unlucky bowler.
Image: Ravichandran Ashwin celebrates
Jadeja, pick of the Indian bowlers
Spinner Ravindra Jadeja was the pick of the Indian bowlers with 3-39 while Ishant Sharma 2-47 and R Ashwin 2-63 were the other wicket-takers on a Mohali track, which appeared to be good for batting.
Jadeja finished with figures of three for 39.
Image: Ravindra Jadeja celebrates
Pietersen completes his 24th ODI half-century
Pietersen completed his 24th ODI half-century by sending a Suresh Raina delivery to the third man boundary and opened up to play some glorious shots on both sides of the wicket. He was particularly severe on Ashwin whose last over yielded as many as 17 runs.
He then singled out Ishant for special treatment clobbering him for two boundaries and a mighty six before the pacer brought an end to his aggression by castling him with a yorker.
Image: Kevin Pietersen is clean bowled
Root's late blast lifts England to 257
Root was responsible for helping England cross the 250-run mark with his blazing innings of 57 from 45 balls, having hit eight fours and a six.
And to think that Morgan and Patel were sent ahead of him to score quick runs but the youngster rose to the occasion in fine style.
The visitors scored as many as 100 runs in the last ten overs as the Indians, who had the game under control for most part of it, suddenly appeared to lose the plot with Root and Pietersen going on the offensive.
Image: Joe Root
Rohit Sharma scored his 13th ODI fifty
It was Rohit Sharma, rated as highly talented but one who has seldom delivered, who turned the spotlight on himself as he grabbed with both hands an unexpected opportunity to feature in the playing eleven as an opener in place of Ajinkya Rahane.
Sharma proved his class with some delightful shots to lay the foundation for the chase and his show will enhance his chances of cementing a place in the ODI team.
Sharma and Virat Kohli steadied the innings with a 52-run partnership for the second wicket, having lost Gambhir early.
Sharma notched up his 13th ODI half century and celebrated the moment by spanking Tredwell for a six and a four off consecutive deliveries.
Image: Rohit Sharma of India
Tredwell impressed again with the ball
James Tredwell struck for his team in his very first over by evicting Virat Kohli (26).
Yuvraj, who joined the action after Kohli's dismissal, did not survive long as he fell prey to Tredwell, who trapped him leg before as he went for a pre-meditated sweep shot.
Tredwell finished with figures of two for 54.
Image: James Tredwell of England celebrates the wicket of Yuvraj Singh of India during the 4th ODI in Mohali
Finn was the standout bowler for England
Just when they seemed to be going great guns, Steve Finn provided the breakthrough by sending back Sharma with a ball that dipped in sharply, trapping the batsman leg before wicket.
Sharma's 83 came off 93 balls and contained 11 boundaries and a six.
Raina was lucky to get a reprieve when he was caught by Cook in the slip but Davis signalled a dead ball as the bowler Finn had knocked the stumps over on his delivery stride, much to the relief of a near-capacity crowd.
Fin finished with figures of one for 39.
Image: Steve Finn of England celebrates the wicket of Rohit Sharma of India during the 4th ODI in Mohali
Raina, Sharma scored at a brisk pace
Sharma, who came into the team in place of an out-of-form Rahane, found an able ally in Raina who scored at a brisk race to put the pressure back on the visitors. The pair scored 50 runs off just 37 balls.
Indians held their nerve during the run chase and it was ultimately Raina who guided the team home.
It was a creditable series victory for Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his men who had come under fire for indifferent performances in recent times, which saw the team lose a Test series to England and an ODI series defeat against arch rivals Pakistan at home.
Ravindra Jadeja hit the winning runs by taking three off Jade Dernbach to trigger off scenes of wild celebrations in the galleries and the Indian dressing room where the players hugged each other.
The two teams will now move to the picturesque town of Dharamsala for the last and final match on Sunday, though it has now been rendered inconsequential.
Image: Suresh Raina of India and Rohit Sharma of India celebrate their fifty partnership during the 4th ODI in Mohali