CAPTAIN Alastair Cook has insisted that only a series win would have left him fully satisfied, as England signed off their tour of India with victory in the fifth one-day international.
The tourists came away from the breathtaking ground at Dharamsala with a seven-wicket success after Ian Bell carried his bat in the second innings for a matchwinning 113 not out.
Bell faced 143 balls, hit 13 fours and one six as he carried England over the line, while Tim Bresnan took the bowling honours with four for 45 as India were dismissed for 226.
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Cook was full of praise for his side’s efforts in the final match, but was mindful not to let the result overshadow the three defeats that came before it.
‘‘We’re not really in it for ‘decent efforts’,’’ he said. ‘‘It was very important to end the series on a high but there’s always disappointment when you come to try and win a series then lose 3- 2.
‘‘We’ve had a really good couple of years in ODIs, so of course we’re a little bit disappointed in the result of the series.
‘‘It’s probably a little frustrating.
I said at the start of the tour that when we play to our potential we win games, and when we have played well here we’ve put India under some pressure.
‘‘Obviously in a couple of games we didn’t do that.’’ Despite those sentiments, Cook found plenty of time to cast light on some of England’s best performers this month.
Bell was at the head of the queue for his exquisitely judged knock, but Cook saw standout displays from several of his party.
‘‘Belly’s hundred was outstanding.
It is easy sometimes to talk the talk but to go out there and do it like he did is something we can take a lot from,’’ said Cook.
‘‘We’ve learned a lot about other players too. James Tredwell has had an outstanding series: he just gets on with his business and produces the goods.
‘‘Steven Finn has bowled well again and Joe Root, who wasn’t in the original selection, has taken his chances very well.’’ England’s next assignment is just around the corner, with the first Twenty20 warm-up in New Zealand taking place on February 4.
- India returned to the top of the International Cricket Council’s one-day rankings for the first time in three years after the victory.
Both teams have 119 ranking points – India gaining two and England losing two – with Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s side ahead by just 0.2 when the numbers were calculated beyond the decimal point.