Former England skipper Alastair Cook feels India's reluctance in changing their playing XI after the first day's washout cost them the World Test Championship (WTC) title. Following a total washout on the opening day of the rain-marred clash in Southampton, the Virat Kohli-led side had an opportunity to include a pacer instead of going with two spinners.
England's second most-capped Test player also highlighted New Zealand's "perfect" preparation for the title clash. While the Kiwis came into the clash after a two-Test series against England, India entered the contest straddling on just intra-squad matches.
"They (India) got a bit confident in picking that side three days out before (the game) and playing two spinners where they pretty much knew it was going to rain for a lot of that game. So a lot of seam bowling was bowled. Even though their spinners are world-class, they got a little bit ahead of themselves there," said Cook on the Tuffers and Vaughan podcast on BBC Sport.
"Intra-squad games, as good as your intention might be, they haven't got the same intensity. The first hour might be really competitive but everything goes less and less and less. India were hard done by that way," he added.
"I did say New Zealand were going to win that game purely down to the fact that they were match-hardened. Those two Test matches against England were such perfect preparation," said Cook.
Earlier, Cook had said that it will take a "monumental effort" from India to outwit England at home. The leading run-scorer in Test matches for England believes the Indian contingent will be plagued with "mental fatigue" by the end of the gruelling five-Test rubber.
"India have shown how good they are at the moment because they're in the World Test Championship final but, over five Test matches in England, England are hard to beat at home, and I'm expecting a very tight battle," Cook was quoted as saying by 'ESPNcricinfo'.
"India would have been here for a long time as well so could get mentally fatigued by the end of the tour. India will start pretty well but, consistently over five games, to beat England at home is a monumental effort. So I think if England hang in with India early on, there's no reason why they can't win."