Three mini-collapses saw England stutter to 155 all out – their second failure in consecutive matches – paving the way for India to canter home in a game that will be remembered more for Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s homecoming.
The 31-year-old skipper sent 40,000 fans home delirious after he hit the winning runs, but Cook preferred to concentrate on his side’s own performance.
“As a batting unit, it is frustrating when you don’t play to your potential,” said Cook.
“We needed to be at our best to give ourselves a chance of winning that game and when you don’t do that, you get punished.
“It is one of those things that if you dwell too much on the past in these last two games…
“Remember these are seriously quality players, that on their day, can deliver the goods to win a game of cricket for England.”
England lost nine wickets for just 87 runs to reach a paltry score of 155 all out, losing key batsmen in clusters and at one stage were 98-6, before limping to their final total thanks to Joe Root (39) and Tim Bresnan (25).
The squad travel to Mohali on Sunday ahead of next week’s fourth ODI knowing they have to win to stay in the five-match series.
And the 28-year-old acknowledged that he has to get his charges back on track if they are to return to the top of the ICC’s ODI rankings – a position they have lost after defeats in Kochi and Ranchi on Saturday.
“It is important that we don’t go searching for things that aren’t there mentally,” said Cook, before adding: “We can complicate the game at times so perhaps breaking it back down to its simplest form might help us.”