Ranchi: India crushed England today by seven wickets to go 2-1 up in the 5-match ODI series. Virat Kohli, who got back to his midas touch, set up the resounding win with his 79-ball 77. Earlier, Indian bowlers rattled the England batting line-up by bundling out them out for just 155.
India also lost opener Ajinkya Rahane (0) early but Gautam Gambhir (33) and Kohli steadied the innings to some extent by putting on 67 runs for the second wicket.
After Gambhir's dismissal, Kohli and Yuvraj Singh (30) accelerated the pace of scoring with a flurry of explosive shots much to the delight of the home crowd. Yuvraj was, however, out with 12 runs left.
Kohli blasted as many as two sixes and nine fours during his knock which formed the cornerstone of the Indian response.
Dhoni hit the winning runs by pulling Steven Finn to the square-leg boundary to trigger off scenes of celebration in the galleries and the Indian dressing room.
It was a commanding performance from India's bowlers, all of whom have taken a wicket each.
Spinner Ravindra Jadeja, was the pick, took three wickets as the visitors found him completely unplayable. He was well supported by Ishant and Ashwin who took two wickets each.The curator earlier expected 350 to be scored on this pitch.
England were 68 for 1 after a slow start but none of their batsmen could stick to the wicket after captain Cook departed. Joe Root was the England top-scorer with 39 as the visiting top-order failed miserably.
Even there was a bit of luck going in the skipper's favour as a poor umpiring decision by Indian official S Ravi gave the home side the prized scalp of Kevin Pietersen.
Ishant and Bhuvneshwar struck in quick succession to take wickets of Pietersen (17) and Bell (25) who looked in a good touch. Spinner Jadeja then scalped two wickets in one over to put England in deeper trouble. They were reeling at 118/6 after 30 overs.
After being reduced to 98 for six, Root and Tim Bresnan stitched 47 runs for the seventh wicket but after the fall of the former, it was all over for England.
Off-spinner Ashwin took two for 37 in his 10-over spell.
The script unfolded like a dream for home boy Dhoni as he won the toss and his bowlers responded magnificently by skittling out the visitors for a meagre total though it was not a difficult wicket to bat on.
The two teams will now travel to Mohali for the fourth match to be held on January 23.