Alastair Cook gives credit to Indian batsmen
Mohali: England captain Alastair Cook today gave credit to Indian batsmen Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina for the five-wicket win of the home side in the fourth one-dayer here, saying the 68-run fourth wicket partnership between the two took the game away from his team.
Cook said with 257 runs on the board he felt his team was in with a decent chance and praised opener Rohit (83) and Raina (not out 89) for the way they batted that enabled the hosts to clinch the five-match series 3-1, with the last game at Dharamsala being rendered inconsequential.
"With 260, we thought we were in the game. We needed couple of early wickets. But I thought the partnership between Raina and Sharma was important, they got the runs quickly," Cook told reporters after the match.
Raina got a reprieve when he was caught by Cook in the slips, but umpire Steve Davis declared a dead ball as pacer Steven Finn had knocked down the bails at his delivery stride.
Cook felt if Raina had got out at that stage, it could have helped his team`s cause. He said it was "frustrating" as they thought they had Raina but soon came to know that the umpire had ruled it as a dead ball. Finn had already been warned for a similar offence at Kochi.
He admitted that "there was a little bit of confusion".
"Apparently, we had been told before, but I think in the heat of the moment, you are not entirely sure. We tried to clarify things. It is frustrating when such things happen. At that time, it wasn`t pretty clear that we had been told before ... At the moment, emotions were high," he said.
"To be fair to the umpires, they had told us that this is the rule. It can be frustrating (when team starts to celebrate and the ball is ruled as dead). I wasn`t totally sure. They had told us before. In Kochi, he was told (warned). I couldn`t remember the conversation they had, lot of things go through your mind," Cook said.
The England captain, who struck 76 runs in his side's innings, said under the given conditions it was a good toss to win for India. He said he knew the dew would be coming down in the later part of the innings.
"I think the toss was really an important factor today. We stuck in there with the bat and knew we could get runs, especially with Joe Roots there," he said.
"Sometimes, you have to give credit to the opposition as well. They are a hard side to beat."
Cook praised his batters, saying getting to 260 odd runs was an improved performance comparing to the batting failures in the past two games.
"The way we batted today, we held our nerve, we kept wickets in hand, which we had no in the last two games," he said, adding he knew if the top order could hang in there players like Joe Root could play big shots later on.
Asked about playing conditions expected in Dharamsala, where the two sides play their last encounter of the five-match ODI series on January 27, Cook said, "I am not quite sure how the conditions are going to be like in the next game."
He said he has been hearing about the weather being snowy there recently.
"I was looking at the reports on my i-pad which said it (weather) is clear. We have to get in and out safely (to Dharmasla, which has to be priority). ..I hope people behind me are going to make the right decisions."
Asked if England would be making any changes in the team for the Dharamsala match, he said, "We try to pick the best side, that has been our policy each time."