x Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 24 July 2017

Cook keen to avoid Indian backlash in final one-dayer

But the England captain pays rich tribute to Rahul Dravid, who will play in his last one-day international, calling the India batsman an 'all-time great'.

Alastair Cook, the England captain, is hoping to complete a miserable tour for India on Friday by wrapping up a 3-0 one-day series victory over the tourists.

India are yet to taste victory over England this summer, having been whitewashed 4-0 in the Test series and trailing 2-0 ahead of Friday's final one-dayer in Cardiff. However, India came agonisingly close to pipping England at Lord's last weekend, and Cook remains wary of the threat posed by the wounded tourists heading into the match.

"The last two games have been very close, and have shown what a talented side India are," Cook said. "We're going to have to play at the top of our game to try to win, and finish the summer on a high as a one-day team."

Cook, however, is satisfied with England's form in his first season in charge as captain of the limited-overs side, which also included a 3-2 series win over Sri Lanka.

"It's been a good start, and I'm very happy with the way the lads have taken to me as captain and bought into the ideas," Cook said. "I'm very happy with winning both series.

"We know how tough it's going to be in the next two months or so [in a return series in India], but this side has always responded well to challenges."

Cook also believes England's one-day squad can improve.

"We are a very young side trying to make progress," he said. "The exciting thing is I don't think we've played as well as we can.

"We have been put under pressure in this series, but have still won the games. That is very encouraging."

Cook also paid tribute to Rahul Dravid, the India batsman, who will play his 344th and final one-day game. "He's scored 10,000 runs in both forms of the game. He's managed to adapt his game to every surface," Cook said. "He is an all-time great."