India could have got the par total of 295 to complete a whitewash over England, had it not been for the loss of some key wickets at crucial stages in the match, skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni said on Friday. (Scorecard | Match Images | Highlights)
World champions India crashed to a 41-run defeat against Alastair Cook's men after they were shot out for 253 chasing 295 and Dhoni felt two other batsmen, including himself, should have stayed at the wicket to play that one match-winning innings.
"We gave away too many wickets. There were quite a lot of soft dismissals, and because of that we were not able to chase the runs. Shikhar (Dhawan), Ambati (Rayudu), myself; we should not have lost those wickets. We could have got those runs in the last ten overs but we lost too many wickets to soft dismissals. I think 300 was a par score on that pitch," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation ceremony.
The Team India skipper was however pleased with the batting and said the line-up looked settled with over months left for the World Cup. Dhoni said barring injuries, at least 12 players in the squad selected themselves for the showpiece event but urged his fast bowlers to step up and improve the death overs bowling, which has been a grave concern for India in the past.
Against England, India conceded as many as 88 runs in the last 10 after having controlled the hosts for the better part of the previous 40 overs.
"We need to improve our slog-overs bowling. Shami has done a good job but the other fast bowlers need to step up. We don't want to concede so many we can't chase them down," Dhoni said.
Meanwhile, Alastair Cook, the England captain was visibly pleased with the side's consolation win and said it was frustrating not to see his team play like that more often. Cook himself slammed 46 and Joe Root cracked 113 as the hosts finished the series with a win, still going down 3-1.
"That's a far better performance, and that's what we can play like. It's frustrating not to play like that before. Joe showed what he can do and that's what we've been missing in our batting. We've got a lot of 20s and 30s, the first time a guy goes on and gets a hundred we have a better chance.
"You saw how hard it was to chase down 300. We just played better, we didn't want to lose 4-0. It's frustrating," Cook said after the match.
India's Suresh Raina was named man of the series while Root was adjudged man of the match for his second ODI hundred.
India's tour comes to an end on Sunday with a one-off T20 International in Birmingham.