x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Cook hails Raina as India claim ODI series victory over England with game to spare

Alastair Cook praised the game-changing partnership of Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina as India capitalised on Steven Finn's collision with the stumps to claim a 3-1 series lead in Mohali

Suresh Raina in action for India.
Suresh Raina in action for India.

Alastair Cook paid tribute to Rohit Sharma and Suresh Raina after the pair guided India to a five-wicket victory in the fourth one-day international at Mohali.

India clinched the one-day series against England with a game to spare as Steven Finn was denied a crucial wicket for breaking the stumps in his delivery stride.

Finn's habit of colliding with the stumps has caused much debate among the game's lawmakers but it had a very practical consequence in the fourth ODI, with umpire Steve Davis calling dead ball when Raina was held at slip with India 178 for four.

At that point India were still 80 short of victory but Raina, 41 at the time, finished unbeaten on 89 to seal a five-wicket win in the 48th over to secure an unassailable 3-1 lead in the series.

"I think that partnership between Raina and Rohit Sharma really (changed the game). When he came in the momentum changed very quickly and we just tried to stop the scoring," the England captain said afterwards.

"But I thought we put on a good performance today, the conditions weren't quite in our favour and to get it so close I thought we played quite well."

England struggled to get to grips with the pitch after losing the toss, although Cook and Kevin Pietersen both contributed 76, while Joe Root made a lasting impression with an unbeaten half-century as the tourists added 100 runs to their score in the last 10 overs.

"(The ball) clearly nipped around pretty much throughout our whole innings but as the dew came down it started to skid on a little bit," added Cook.

"We knew that if we could load ourselves in those last 10 overs with our batters in, we had a chance to get between 250 and 260, which is a good score on that wicket."

Root played a key part in England's innings late on and his 57 not out from 45 balls earned glowing praise from his captain.

"He did really play well, he's good at moving the ball around. The shots he had at the end, I don't think we've seen them before and his strike rate of 130 or thereabouts is really pleasing and the way he handles himself on himself is excellent," Cook said.

India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni believes his bowlers laid the platform for today's victory - in spite of them conceding 100 runs in the final 10 overs.

"It was a very good performance. We were right on the spot with the new ball, which I feel is always important," he said.

"A lot of sides look to save wickets in the first 10 overs because all of them know from 36 to 40 overs they can have a second powerplay and then afterwards if they have wickets in hand they can really score big runs.

"I think we started off well and didn't let them get off."

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