sport

We've learned a lot, says Cook

England's one-day squad departed India on Monday without the series win they came for but buoyed by an impressive victory in the final match.

The group on Monday splits in two directions, with nine players jetting to New Zealand to begin preparations for the forthcoming Twenty20 series and the remainder heading home.

Each party will leave in considerably higher spirits after yesterday's seven-wicket win in Dharamsala - a result set in motion by a disciplined bowling performance and delivered by Ian Bell's pitch-perfect 113 not out.

Captain Alastair Cook, who has a break before rejoining the side for the next one-day series, found plenty of bright spots to weigh against the series loss.

Bell's knock was the most obvious example, but he was also impressed with how others stood tall in the absence of key men such as Stuart Broad, Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott and James Anderson.

"We take a lot through to New Zealand from this month," he said.

"Belly's hundred today was outstanding. It is easy sometimes to talk the talk but to go out there and do it like he did is something we can take a lot from.

"We've learned a lot about other players too. James Tredwell has had an outstanding series: he just gets on with his business and produces the goods.

"Steven Finn has bowled well again and Joe Root, who wasn't in the original selection, has taken his chances very well.

"It's been a young squad out here and with the senior lads coming back now that adds a lot of competition for places."

Despite that assessment, Cook was in no mood to paper over the three successive defeats that cost England badly after a bright start to the trip.

While a 3-2 loss represents decent progress when viewed against the back-to-back whitewashes of England's last two one-day trip to India, Cook is not minded to settle for the tag of plucky losers.

"We're not really in it for 'decent efforts'," he said.

"It was very important to end the series on a high but there's always disappointment when you come to try to win a series then lose 3-2.

"We've had a really good couple of years in ODIs, so of course we're a little bit disappointed in the result of the series.

"I said at the start of the tour that when we play to our potential we win games and when we have played well here we've put India under some pressure.

"Obviously in a couple of games we didn't do that."

Stuart Broad will link up with the Twenty20 side in Whangarei ahead of his delayed comeback from a heel injury.

He was due to be in India for the fourth and fifth ODIs but was delayed by snow at Heathrow.

Among the England-bound group, Tim Bresnan (elbow) and Danny Briggs (sprained ankle) will head straight to the treatment room.