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Cook: Defensive effort came up short

23 January 2013 18:55

England captain Alastair Cook has conceded his team did not bowl well enough defensively to combat Suresh Raina in their loss to India.

Raina (89 not out) and Rohit Sharma (83) led India to a five-wicket triumph on Wednesday in the fourth of five one-day internationals (ODI) against England, ensuring a series victory.

After the match in Mohali, Cook argued Raina's innings had changed the game and England's captain revealed his team just tried to limit the damage the 26-year-old batsman could inflict but failed to do enough to keep the ODI series alive.

Raina and Sharma, who opened the batting for India, took the home side from 90-3 to 158-4 when the latter was dismissed by Steven Finn, while the former anchored the rest of the innings to secure victory.

"I think that partnership between Raina and Rohit Sharma really (changed the game)," Cook said.

"When he (Raina) came in the momentum changed very quickly and we just tried to stop the scoring."

India captain MS Dhoni reserved special praise for Sharma, who made his first appearance of the series in Mohali.

Sharma had not scored more than five in his last six ODIs, while, in 2012, the right-hander had averaged just 12.92 in cricket's 50-over format.

Dhoni revealed Sharma had been given the opportunity to open the batting in the hope it might inspire the 25-year-old and reinvigorate his career.

"He's one of the most gifted cricketers that we have seen, unfortunately he has not done really well with the opportunities he has got," Dhoni said.

"We had a chat about him opening the innings at the start of the series and he was very glad to accept it.

"I think it was a very good performance by him."

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