x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Alastair Cook's delight at the change

England batsmen made the most of the conditions and racked up 325 for the loss of four wickets in a cricket win over host India.

The heat on the under-fire Indian cricket team and their captain MS Dhoni grew after they started off a five-match one-day series on a losing note at Rajkot to England.

On a flat batting track, where the toss proved crucial, England batsmen made the most of the conditions and racked up 325 for the loss of four wickets. India lost wickets at regular intervals and fell short by nine runs and Dhoni sportingly took the blame on himself.

Dhoni blasted four sixes in an aggressive 32, but holed out with 55 still needed to open up the India tail.

Dhoni felt that the target – which would have been India's record chase at home – was more than achievable while he and Suresh Raina (50) were in place.

"Frankly we should have got that – it was a very fast outfield," he told Sky Sports 1.

"You got value for your shots, and if you found the gaps more often it hit the boundary. I should have batted a few more overs and we would have got them.

"I don't want to sound arrogant, but it was quite easy if me and Raina had stayed. But once he got out followed by me it made it very difficult."

Meanwhile, his counterpart, Alastair Cook, believed England proved they are a different side to the one thrashed 5-0 in India a year ago with yesterday's breakthrough win.

Having not beaten the hosts in India in 13 attempts dating back to 2006, an opening stand of 158 from Cook (75) and Ian Bell (85) set up the platform for the batting order.

Man-of-the-match James Tredwell then picked up the mantle with career-best figures of four for 44 as India closed on 316 for nine.

"If you compare that to what we were doing in 2011, I thought there was a big difference," he said.

"It is pretty much the same squad we had out here last time when we lost 5-0, so to get an early win proves to them that they can play in these conditions.

"It was important to get a win early doors for the main reason that it gives the lads a bit of confidence. We know it is hard, we know it is tough and different, but the way we fought was impressive and we'll have to do that again in the next game.

"It was really a good day for England," he added.

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