Cardiff: England might have taken an unassailable 2-0 lead in the one-day series against India but captain Alastair Cook feels his team's performance in the last two games has not been up to the mark.
"You get judged by results and we have won, but we didn't play well in the last couple of games even though we managed to get the right results," said Cook on the eve of the final one-dayer on Friday.
"In the last couple of games, we have been in good positions. But in the end overs, (MS) Dhoni and (Suresh) Raina played very well and made it hard for us. Also one of our top batters needed to stick around, as Ravi (Bopara) did," he added.
Despite the 2-0 advantage in the series, Cook said he had to deal with a lot of pressure while watching his team stumble at times during the one-day series.
"When you play a lot of high-pressure tournaments, you get used to dealing with those situations. It's stressful watching from the dressing room when you can't do any thing. But we have made some good progress in the last couple of years," he said.
One of the areas where England appeared to have struggled is facing the Indian spinners, and the hosts played against the spin-bowling machine in the middle on Thursday afternoon to hone their skills.
"I think we've played them okay. It's always said how much spin is a challenge for England batters, but in the last few years we have made big progress against spin. It's an easy topic to talk about but then who said we can't get any better."
"There's talent in the squad. Seeing how we've trained, we know we have to improve as a side as we have a couple of tours in the sub-continent. We don't play (spin) as bad as people talk about," he added.
England have suffered from injuries in the one-day series with both Eoin Morgan and Stuart Broad out of picture for the next few weeks, but Cook is happy that others have made good use of the opportunities.
"Others have been given chances and they have taken their opportunities well, especially Ravi. When injuries happen, you want 16-18 players who can play for England and adapt to different roles."
"It's shown when there's competition for places, that can only be a good thing. Competition raises the standards."
Cook also had a word of praise for Rahul Dravid, who is ending his one-day career in the match on Friday.
"He's been an outstanding player, has got over 10,000 runs in both forms of the game. Being around for as long as he has is incredible. He's been a great modern-day cricketer and there's no doubt about it," he said.
The lanky opener was also sympathised with the Indian team, who haven't found anything going for them this summer.
"I remember when we lost the Ashes 5-0 it was extremely hard. When you keep working hard but get beaten by a better side, it does become very hard on the morale and confidence," he said.
"We are happy we didn't let India come back couple of times in the (one-day) series. We hit the ground running and that was good."
Cook was candid enough to admit he was disappointed that the captaincy of Twenty20 didn't come his way after Stuart Broad pulled out because of injury.
"I was disappointed. It's natural when your hat is in the ring for selection but it doesn't go your way. Now Graeme (Swann) would lead the side and I think he would do a very good job," he said.