Cook blames shoddy fielding

England lose series in Mohali; two chances left to avoid whitewash

Last Updated: 20/10/11 7:33pm

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Alastair Cook acknowledged defeat was hard to take as India sealed the one-day international series in Mohali.

Ajinkya Rahane (91) outdid the sheet-anchor tempo of Jonathan Trott (98 not out) - and despite an England fightback, their adversary-in-chief Mahendra Singh Dhoni scrambled his team home with four balls to spare in pursuit of a target of 299.

The win gave India an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series, and England captain Cook said: "It's a tough defeat to take, especially when it's so close. If you are hammered it's almost easier (to take).

"We've stepped up our performance in the last two games - but it's tough to take when you are so close."

Cook believed poor fielding was the difference between the teams in Mohali.

He added at the post-match presentation ceremony, televised by Sky Sports: "Our fielding has been slightly below-par on tour, which is very unusual for us.

"We've stepped up our performance in the last two games - but it's tough to take when you are so close."
Alastair Cook Quotes of the week

"It cost us 20-25 runs in field - and that was probably the difference between the two sides today."


Dhoni, meanwhile, felt his side had not been at their best but was nevertheless delighted with the result.

"It was a very good performance - but we need to improve," he said.

"We gave away too many boundaries to the opposition and that matters. If you don't give too many boundaries the opposition won't get 300-odd runs.

"There was a decent amount of dew on the field which means the opposition play with two spinners, so the ball comes on nicely to the bat and you can rotate the strike freely without taking chances.

"We lost wickets at the wrong times and had to get a partnership going which we did."

On the improved display on home territory after the disappointing visit to England in the summer, Dhoni said: "It's not like we went down without doing anything but it was in the bowling department that we struggled.

"Over here we are bowling well and backing ourselves to chase scores. Appreciation should go to the batsmen also."

Cook saluted Dhoni for the way he guided his side to the series-clinching victory.

"Credit to MS," he said. "The way he hit the ball at the end... he's done it time and time again to us - it's probably not just us, it's bowlers all over world cricket. He's a great finisher and he finished it again for them."

The England captain was satisfied with the team's overall display - apart from in the field - but accepted there was plenty of room for improvement.

"There's always room for more and more," he said, looking back on the tourists' total of 298-4. "That's what we need to do for us to improve as a side.


"We haven't batted well on this tour in these [first] two games and then we did today. Then you think, 'oh, why didn't we get 320?'

"I thought we bowled well as well. It was mistakes in the field that cost us today. I can't put my finger on why that's happening.

"We practice very hard on the fielding and in these last three games we haven't done what we normally do in the field.

"In all forms of the game we're an outstanding fielding side. You don't lose that in a week.

"It's frustrating but I'm sure we'll get back to that standard."

The series continues with the fourth game in Mumbai on Sunday.

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