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Alastair is all praise for Dhoni

Kochi: For Alastair Cook, the 100-odd runs in the death overs was what made the difference between the two teams on Tuesday, in the second one-day International.

From 177 for five at the end of the 40th over, India went on to post 285 for six in 50 overs. The host finally won the match by 127 runs.

“India dominated specially after the 40th over. We gave away 100-odd runs in the last 10 overs. If we could have taken a couple of wickets and restricted them to 250-260, it would have been still gettable,” Cook said at the post-match presentation ceremony.

“It’s very tough when you’ve got people like Dhoni batting. You get exposed when you don’t quite get the skills right,” Cook added.

Dhoni made 72 while Man of the Match Ravindra Jadeja was unbeaten on 61. The bowlers skittled out the visitors for a paltry 158 in just 36 overs to level the five-match series 1-1.

Cook was all praise for Dhoni’s big-hitting prowess and said his late-order surge changed the complexion of the match. “He (Dhoni) is probably the best player in the world in those situations, in these conditions.”

Dhoni sent the pace trio of Steven Finn, Jade Dernbach and Chris Woakes to all parts of the park in the closing stages but Cook declined to introduce the occasional spin of Joe Root, which the English captain said wasn’t an option.

“You’re always going to get a hindsight, but probably one batsman you don’t want an off-spinner bowling to is Dhoni. We’ve seen him a number of times and with a spinner at the end, it’s very hard to bowl to him,” he said.