Familiar story for Cook and Co
Captain Alastair Cook admitted England were “blown away” by India after they collapsed to a 95-run defeat in the final one-day international - and a 5-0 series whitewash.
From 129 without loss in pursuit of 272 for victory, the tourists lost 10 wickets for 47 to be dismissed for 176 in 37 overs.
Slow left-armer Ravindra Jadeja prospered to the tune of 4-33 and off-spinner Ravichandran Ashwin finished with 3-28. Nine England wickets fell to spin.
“It’s a bit of a shock, that,” said Cook, who made 60 before his dismissal sparked England’s slide.
“We were in with a shout at 120-odd for nought and just got blown away at the end. It was very disappointing.
“We know you can lose clusters in the sub-continent, but we didn’t think you could lose all 10. (There was) a bit of a common theme there.
“We set up the game beautifully to go on and win that, but credit to the way they bowled and we played a couple of poor shots.
“It seemed when we lost a couple of wickets, it suddenly started to spin a lot more. We didn’t handle it very well.”
For Cook, England’s latest defeat was indicative of a tour on which they have struggled with the bat, particularly when India took the pace off the ball.
It also represented a remarkable turnaround given England’s dominance on home soil this summer, when India failed to win a competitive match in any form of the game.
Asked why England have struggled so much, he replied: “I’m not quite sure. Possibly you could say inexperience - not many of us have played out here before - but I don’t think it is that.
“We just haven’t performed under the pressure that you need to out there. We haven’t batted well enough on this tour, and that really just caps it off.
“Winning is a habit, and losing certainly is a habit as well. There was certainly no throwing in of the towel.
“Unfortunately, our skills weren’t good enough out there. We gave it our all and came up quite a long way short.”
India’s 271 for eight owed much to their skipper’s contribution. Mahendra Singh Dhoni hit a wonderfully paced unbeaten 75 off 69 balls to carry them to a challenging total after England had performed admirably with the ball for much of the innings.
He has scored 212 runs in the series without being dismissed, earning him the man of the series award and a new motorbike, which was put to immediate use on the outfield.
Cook, not for the first time over the last fortnight, was left to pay tribute to another mature yet devastating innings.
“Credit to MS. At the end he hit it very well. He’s a very hard person to bowl at and he single-handedly got them up to 270.
“That was probably gettable the way we started, but when you lose 10 for 50 you’re not going to win anything.”
Cook and Craig Kieswetter, who made 63 off 64 balls, were alone in emerging with any credit with the bat; only four players reached double figures.
Earlier, Samit Patel bowled intelligently to claim 3-57 from nine overs, while Steven Finn underlined the positive impression he has made on this trip by taking 2-47 from 10.
His eight wickets in the series cost a relatively frugal 31.62, and an economy rate of 5.27 was the best among an attack that regularly struggled late in the India innings.
“We bowled really well up to about 35 overs and I thought Steven Finn was outstanding again, as he has been on this tour,” added Cook.
“Only four of us have played one-day series out here and it’s great for the youngsters to get the experience. It will show where they need to improve and we all need to improve as a side.
“It’s always hard when you lose 5-0. We got thoroughly beaten out here but there are quite a few positives. A lot of these guys will be far better for the experience.”