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April 7, 2006
Matthew Hoggard has hailed the Indian one-day side as the best in the world, after they surpassed a 21-year-old West Indian record in Thursday's series-clincher at Cochi.
India's victory was their 15th victory in consecutive run-chases, and Hoggard - who was playing his first one-dayer of the series - admitted: "They are probably the best one-day side in the world and the record proves it."
Hoggard was the mainstay of England's attack in the Test series, but endured a torrid time at Cochi, as he disappeared for 59 runs in nine overs.
"I was disappointed that I did not play the first three one-day matches," he admitted. "I was picked to play the fourth, but unfortunately I did not bowl as well as I hoped. When you are in rhythm you have to stay in rhythm."
Hoggard rued England's missed chances in the first two close games at New Delhi and Faridabad, saying had they won these matches, the story might have been entirely different now. "We would have been 2-0 up, but we've been playing against a good opposition."
For all that England have been outplayed, Hoggard refused to be downcast, and insisted his team-mates were ready to battle on as the series moves to the eastern town of Guhawati for Sunday's fifth match. "The spirit of the boys is the same," he said. "They are enjoying their cricket."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
A collection of fine cricket writing on great cricket feats, and never mind the omissions
Plays of the Day from the first ODI between South Africa and India in Johannesburg