Birmingham: India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni feels his side played a "perfect game" yesterday as the visitors thrashed England by nine wickets in the fourth ODI to take an invincible 3-0 lead in the five-match series here.
Opting to bowl, India first restricted England to a modest 206 and then overwhelmed the target in 30.3 overs to record their third consecutive victory in the ODI series at the Edgbaston, in what turned out to be yet another lopsided contest.
"Considering the first game, our performance only got better," Dhoni said at the post-match presentation. "There is a tendency to lax after win, but we only got better and today was a perfect game," he said.
"The seamers bowled in the right areas and it was crucial because I thought it wouldn't turn much. The fast bowlers set it up, because they took wickets and when the spinners came the batting was under pressure."
Dhoni praised young Ajinkya Rahane, who came in to open the batting in place of injured Rohit Sharma and scored his maiden ODI century with a 100-ball 106-run knock.
Shikhar Dhawan (second from left) celebrates India's series win with teammate Suresh Raina at Edgbaston yesterday. Pic/Getty Images
Opening the innings, Rahane and Shikhar Dhawan (97 not out) put on 183 runs for the first wicket to set the platform for the victory.
"The openers, if they can face 10 to 12 overs, it gives us a platform. It was good to see Dhawan back in form. Rahane was always someone who was third in line for the opening slot and he has made the most out of it," he said.
England captain Alastair Cook feels India outplayed the hosts in all departments of the game. "A very tough day. The sport turns change so quickly. It is frustrating not to play to your potential," he said.
"India certainly batted better, fielder better, and bowled better. It is always tough to lose three games in a row and in a manner that we lost," Cook said.
The number of ODIs India have won under MS Dhoni's captaincy. He surpassed Mohd Azharuddin's tally of 90 wins to become India's most successful captain