Kochi: India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni's big hits at the death overs made all the difference which helped the hosts score almost 110 runs in last ten overs, said his English counterpart Alastair Cook. "It's too many; last ten overs saw them score almost 110 runs which does hurt. It's very tough when you've got people like Dhoni at the end. You get exposed when you don't quite get the skills right," Cook told reporters at the post match press conference.
India relied on a brilliant all-round display to thrash England by an emphatic 127 runs in the second one-dayer here on Tuesday. India first posted a competitive 285, riding on captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni's 72 and Ravindra Jadeja's 61, before the bowlers skittled out the visitors for a paltry 158 in just 36 overs to level the five-match series 1-1.
Cook was all praise for Dhoni's big-hitting prowess and said his late-order surge changed the complexion of the match. "He [Dhoni] is probably the best player in the world in those situations, in these conditions."
Dhoni sent the pace trio of Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach and Chris Woakes to all parts of the park in the closing stages but Cook declined to introduce the occasional spin of Joe Root which the English skipper said wasn't an option. "You're always going to get a hindsight, but probably one batsman you don't want an offspinner bowling to is Dhoni. We've seen him a number of times and with a spinner at the end, it's very hard to bowl to him. So, look, clearly when you get hit for 68 runs in the last five overs, you think, maybe now, you could have done things differently. But at the time, for me, it was a very big gamble to make," he said.
Cook said losing three wickets within a span of 15 runs cost them dearly as they were reduced to 73 for 4 in the 15th over. "I think we were 60 for 1 at the end of the tenth over, and then we lost 3 for 20, and that cost us the game. And for the lower order against spinners, it was going to be very hard," he said.
Cook also admitted that vociferous home crowd at the Nehru Stadium also added to their woes. "It's one skill that we need to be able to stay calm. There was a pressure from the crowd, making that noise, and you think you are under more pressure than you actually are."
The English skipper also rued the fact that few umpiring decisions went against them. "We probably did get a few tough ones. But other games we've been on the other end. But that's not the main reason why we didn't win this game," he said.