Nagpur: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has said England deserved the series win after the fourth and final cricket Test ended in a drab draw here Monday. England won the series 2-1, their first win on Indian soil since 1984-85. Dhoni, asked if England deserved the series win, said: "I think so, we struggled in the batting department but their spinners were right on the mark, James Anderson was very good, testing the batsmen."
Dhoni, however, criticised the pitch conditions saying it was difficult to pick wickets. "As the game progressed there wasn't much for the spinners or fast bowlers. If you got your head down it was hard to take wickets. I think it got better, coming on to the bat and easier to play strokes," he said. "We tried a few combinations that didn't really work (in the series), we had some part-timers but we needed someone like (Ravindra) Jadeja to keep the lid on the batsmen. (Cheteshwar) Pujara's batting was a positive and (Gautam) Gambhir got back in the runs."
A smiling England captain Alastair Cook couldn't hide his happiness and praised his team for an incredible performance. "Special day, special tour. Today, it was a flat wicket to bat on but (Jonathan Trott) Trotty and (Ian Bell) Belly did it so calmly. We were quite surprised with the pitch at the start, how low and slow it was, but it got better. We knew if we didn't give anyway any soft dismissals it would be hard to bowl us out and I'm proud the lads fronted up," said Cook.
England, who lost the first Test match in humiliating fashion, came back with great vigour first to level the series and then take the lead with a comprehensive win in Kolkata. "After Ahmedabad, the heavy defeat, it's been a fantastic response. In my first series as captain, I couldn't have asked for more, it's a very proud moment. Our bowlers have been brilliant and all the batsman contributed. It's always nice when it goes well, can't praise the team, the squad enough, the backroom staff but also the fans, the Barmy Army and the India supporters as well."
Dhoni blamed his batsmen and quick bowlers in equal measure for the team's humiliating 1-2 series loss against England after the fourth and final Test ended in a draw here. "I think we struggled in the batting and fast bowling but our spinners were on the mark. The difference between the two bowling sides was James Anderson, he bowled really well on all the four occassions," said Dhoni.