Alastair Cook

England skipper Alastair Cook criticised his batsmen after two low-scoring defeats to India in the five-match ODI series © Getty Images (File Pic)

Ranchi: Jan 20, 2013

England captain Alastair Cook blamed his top-order for his side’s seven-wicket defeat to India in the third ODI at Ranchi on Saturday.

“In any side it is important that the top six-seven score the runs. That’s what we are supposed to do, and the last two games, we haven’t done that. So that’s why we haven’t come close to winning,” Cook said in an interview to bcci.tv

England suffered similar fate in the Kochi ODI where the top-order batsmen failed to perform as England were bundled out for a paltry total. Cook had raised similar concerns on that occasion as well.

Cook also praised the young Indian bowlers, Shami Ahmed and Bhuvneshwar Kumar as India earned a comfortable seven-wicket victory over the visitors in a low-scoring encounter.

Batting first, England batsmen struggled to score quick runs as Shami and Bhuvneshwar applied immense pressure with disciplined bowling.

“They bowled nicely in the conditions. The ball nipped around but they didn’t give any freebies here and they built pressure,” Cook said.

Further he said, “Obviously 155 wasn’t enough. To make a match out of it, you need to take early wickets; we had to attack and I though Steven Finn bowled very well. But we needed five early wickets to put pressure on the Indians and to try and bowl them out for less than 155.”

On the impact of two back-to-back losses and England’s plans ahead of saving the series, the England skipper said, “Of course it’s hurting now. It’s going to hurt for another day. It’s important that we get to Mohali with clear minds. It’s very easy to start complicating the situation as a batter when you haven’t scored runs for a couple of games as a batting unit. You start looking for magic answers. That’s not the way to go, you got to be clear, have clear minds, start delivering the goods and not talk about it.