India outplayed us - Cook
Alastair Cook admitted England were beaten by the better team following their 127-run thrashing by India in the second ODI at Kochi.
The hosts overcame a sluggish start, with the pitch giving plenty of assistance to England's bowlers, to post a formidable total of 285 for six after they had won the toss.
Crucial to India's success was captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni (72 not out off 66 balls) and man of the match Ravindra Jadeja (61no off 37 balls) adding in excess of 100 runs in the final 10 overs.
That gave Dhoni's men all the momentum they needed as England's chase was undermined by the regular fall of wickets en route to being bowled out for 158 after 36 overs.
But while Cook paid tribute to their opponents he insists - with the five-match series now level at 1-1 - England are by no means down and out.
"That last 10-over spell of 100 runs really cost us. Up until then we were in the game and a couple of wickets would have changed the game," Cook said at a post-match presentation screened by Sky Sports.
"Chasing 240-250 was probably gettable.
"It (the pitch) spun a little bit more but you can't use that as an excuse for why we didn't win the game. We got outskilled and outplayed today so it's tough.
"But the important thing to remember is it it's 1-1 in the series now so it's all to play for.
"I think you can say we weren't quite at the races today for whatever reason but credit to India, they put us under pressure - especially their batting after the first 10 overs."
Dhoni was quick to hail a fantastic team effort by India as they claimed just their second ODI win in five matches.
The hosts were in trouble when openers Ajinkya Rahane and Gautam Gambhir were dismissed for single-figure scores but Virat Kohli (37) and Yuvraj Singh (32) steadied the ship allowing Suresh Raina (55) and then Dhoni and Jadeja to drive home their advantage.
"I think everyone performed really well. We didn't get off to a good start, I think initially it was a bit tough for the openers with the ball seaming around a bit," said the wicketkeeper-batsman.
"But Yuvraj batted great, he gave us that platform along with Virat Kohli then we were in a fantastic position to cash in.
"It was a fantastic innings by Ravindra Jadeja."
Dhoni was concerned the wicket was starting to flatten at the end of their innings, but was pleased to be proved wrong with Jadeja following up his heroics with the bat with figures of two for 12 off seven overs to stifle the tourists.
"It seemed like a wicket that may flatten and their off-spinner (James Tredwell) they were bowling initially was turning them but later on (his deliveries) became flat. We thought the wicket would dry up and the spinners would not get a bit of turn," he added.
"But a good thing I was wrong. There was plenty of turn for the spinners and I think Jadeja made the most of it so at the end of the day we had plenty of runs."