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Alastair Cook believes Ben Stokes will be 'gutted deep down' after Test series defeat in India

Alastair Cook believes England captain Ben Stokes will be "gutted" after the tourists saw their hopes of a Test series decider against India slip through their fingers in Ranchi.

England held all the cards in the fourth Test when they reduced the hosts to 177 for seven in response to 353, but lost all of their momentum during a nightmare third day.

They rallied again on the fourth morning, with rookie spinner Shoaib Bashir to the fore, but could not prevent India sealing a five-wicket win and an unassailable 3-1 lead.

Stokes put on a brave face as he reflected on a first series loss at the helm but Cook, the last visiting skipper to win a series in India, insisted the result would sting.

"He speaks very well about staying in the moment, but he'll be gutted deep down," Cook told TNT Sport.

"He's a really competitive person and he'll know this was an opportunity to get it back to 2-2. They were not quite good enough on day three with ball and bat which allowed India to dominate the last little bit.

"They didn't lose it today, they were very good, they probably lost it in the second innings. England have had some brilliant opportunities in the last three Tests they've lost.

"They won the first from an unlikely position but in the last three they've been in the game. Credit to India, they’ve found a way.

"You just hope those guys who've experienced what they’ve experienced can keep looking at their games and constantly improve."

England will now take a week off before reconvening in the foothills of the Himalayas for the fifth Test in Dharamsala and former seamer Steven Finn has urged them to consider drafting some new blood into their bowling attack.

Surrey's Gus Atkinson has been unused thus far on the trip but with India already guaranteed an outright win he feels the paceman should be handed a debut.

"I would probably make one change to the XI, when the series is gone like this sometimes it's good to give someone new a chance and give a little taste of Test match cricket," he told TNT.

"Gus is someone I've watched quite closely for 18 months or so and I'm really impressed with his ability to affect different phases of the game for his county. He's dealt with the international stage when he’s played white-ball cricket."

Cook believes 41-year-old James Anderson, who sits on 698 career scalps, is the right man to make way in a nod to future planning.

He added: "James Anderson, I don't think will tour India again and he doesn't need the experience, but he'll probably hear me saying this and say 'I'll be here in four years' time…what are you doing writing me off?'."

READ MORE: India batters show grit to secure Test series win over England with Ranchi victory

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