Mohali: India skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni on Wednesday lauded the "overall good performance" of his players as they took an unassailable 3-1 lead over England in the five-match ODI series with a comprehensive five-wicket victory in the fourth and penultimate match here. India chased down the 258-run target easily, thanks to some quality bowling and solid batting by the side and Dhoni said it was a good performance.
"Overall a very good performance. We were right on spot with the new ball. We started off well and didn't let them get off to a quick start," Dhoni said.
England scored 100 runs off the last 10 overs but Dhoni defended his bowlers, saying that it was a new attack and they will improve with experience.
"It is new bowling attack, they will learn a lot with more matches under their belt. 100 in 10 overs, it's bound to happen with the new rules. But overall I am happy."
Asked about Rohit Sharma, who initially anchored India's innings by starring in two crucial stands of 52 and 68 with Virat Kohli and Raina respectively, Dhoni said, "We all know Rohit is a gifted cricketer and it was a very good performance from him. He is a natural puller of the ball and one cannot bowl too many short deliveries to him. Once he got to his fifty, he converted it to a big one."
Dhoni was also happy that India fared well in different conditions throughout the five-match series.
"The conditions have not been typical subcontinental conditions, except Kochi, so the series win has been a good achievement," he said.
His English counterpart, Alastair Cook said it was the fourth wicket partnership of 68 runs off 8.3 overs between opener Rohit and Suresh Raina which made all the difference in the end.
"Rohit-Raina partnership really took things away from us. They changed the momentum, we could not stop them but to get this close was also a good performance. I don't think the conditions were really in our favour. The ball nipped around all day but we knew if we have wickets in hand, we can get to 250-260. Joe Root played pleasingly, he moved the ball around well and we put up a pretty good score on this wicket," Cook said.
Suresh Raina, who steered India home with an unbeaten 79-ball 89 and was adjudged the Man-of-the-Match award, said, "I was talking to Rohit about staying positive and we had a tremendous partnership. It is important to back our natural instinct and also rotate strike and God has been kind and I took my chances today and I stayed till the end."
"I have been doing well of late. It is the result of the hard work that I have been putting up at the nets, thanks to the coach and the dressing room environment."
The left-handed batsman also praised Rohit for his 83-run innings off 93 balls which included 11 fours and one six.
"Rohit was playing really well, he showed some character in his innings. He was very responsible and he would be a happy man today," he said.
Asked about the standard of fielding in the Indian team, Raina said, "I remember Sachin told us that we have to No. 1 in the fielding, and today we fielded really well. Today, Kohli, myself, Jadeja all are good fielders and we are happy with the team."
Rohit said, "I came to know that I am opening this morning and I am happy that management gave me the chance and I did well today. We needed a team effort. It was difficult and I am happy I played a crucial role in the series win. I want to take it forward now."