England held their nerve to restrict India to 316 for nine and win the first one-day international at Rajkot on Friday by 9 runs.
The tourists always held the upper hand in the game after making 325 for 4 having elected to bat first at Saurashtra Cricket Association Stadium.
This is England's first win in India after 13 ODIs, since 12 April 2006.
It also ended India's bid to jump two places and secure top ranking in the ICC ODI rankings which required them to win the England series 5-0.
England skipper Cook said: "It was a good toss to win. Very good wicket, and we made the most of it. Proud of the side. Samit and Craig at the end made a difference."
India made a valiant attempt to chase down the massive target after a 96-run opening partnership Gautam Gambhir (52) and Ajankye Rahane (47).
Half centuries by Yuvraj Singh (61) and Suresh Raina (50) kept them in the hunt, but the dismissal of skipper Dhoni (32) in the 45th effectively ended their hopes of victory.
"It was difficult but we should have got there," said Indian skipper Dhoni.
Off spinner James Tredwell struck crucial blows at regular interval to peg back India's run chase.
Tredwell finished with superb figures of 4 for 44 on a perfect batting strip to be adjudged man of the match.
"We got wickets at the right time, even at the lower end, it is what helped us get over the line," said Tredwell.
Pacers Jade Dernbach and Tim Bresnan kept their cool particularly in the death overs to pick up two wickets apiece.
Earlier, a record opening stand of 158 between Ian Bell (85) and Alistair Cook (75) laid the foundation for England's matchwinning total.
The 70-run partnership in 37 balls for the unbroken fifth wicket between Craig Kieswetter and Samit Patel turned out to be the difference in the final analysis.
Ishant Sharma was the most expensive Indian bowler going for 80 in his 10 overs which included two maidens.
Sharma edged the first ball of the last over from Bresnan to third man to give India a glimmer of hope.
It had faded when Ravichandran Ashwin was caught behind off Steven Finn to be eighth out after hitting two boundaries in his 13 in the 48th over.
Ashoke Dinda was ninth out bowled by Bresnan for 3.
It was Jade Dernbach's double strike in the 45th over that put England firmly back in control.
India suffered a major setback in chasing down England's target of 326 when Dhoni scooped a slower one from Dernbach straight to Root at long off.
He blasted four sixes during his 25-ball 32.
Dhoni turned it on for India clubbing Bresnan straight back into the stands.
He took charge of the run chase by whacking Samit Patel for two massive sixes within the space of three balls after Tredwell had dismissed Raina.
After Dhoni had smacked him for a massive six into the stands, Tredwell induced to lob a return catch after adding 45 runs in seven overs for the fifth wicket.
With 128 needed off the last 15 overs, Raina stepped up to the plate cracking two boundaries of Finn in the 36th.
Raina survived after Bresnan was deemed to have grassed a sharp chance in the deep off Finn as India posted 33 runs in the five Powerplay overs.
But just when India's run chase of 326 seemed to be back on track, England claimed the big wicket of Yuvraj Singh.
Yuvraj perished in the 35th over attempting to paddle a Tredwell delivery only to lob an easy catch to Dernbach at short fine leg after making 61 off 54 balls.
He led India's attempt to overhaul England's target with an enterprising half century, his fourth wicket alliance with Raina yielding 60 runs.
Raina hit two boundaries off Joe Root in the 32nd over to bring up their half century partnership in 37 balls.
Yuvraj raced to a powerpacked half century which contained eight boundaries and one six off just 38 balls.
It was his 50th ODI fifty and seventh against England.
Yuvraj attacked Dernbach whipping him for three boundaries in the leg side in the 28th over, including two in succession to race to 40 off 30 balls.
He also got two consecutive boundaries off Root.
India lost their third wicket when Bresnan removed the out of form Virat Kohli caught behind by Craig Keiswetter.
Kohli made 15 off 22 balls with one boundary.
Earlier, off spinner James Tredwell struck for England in successive overs after India got off to a flying start chasing a target of 326.
England's pace duo of Bresnan and Dernbach put India on the back foot with a barrage of bouncers.
However, Yuvraj hit out by lashing Bresnan for a six to break the shackles.
India lost their first wicket in the 17th over when Ajankye Rahane miscued a lofted shot to Dernbach in the deep off spinner James Tredwell for 47 off 57 balls with six boundaries.
Gambhir completed his 34th ODI fifty off 48 balls with six boundaries but departed shortly for 52 after chipping one to Ian Bell at midwicket.
Runs seem to dry up for India once the spinners were introduced.
But Yuvraj unfazed clobbered Tredwell to midwicket and got a fine glance of Bresnan to the fence.
India's openers have posted 66 runs, 12 more than England did, with 11 boundaries coming off the blades of Gambhir (35) and Rahane (31).
England's openers took 9.3 overs to reach 50 but India needed just 41 balls with Rahane and Gambhir hitting boundaries at will.
Gambhir led the way scoring three consecutive boundaries of Finn's third over while Rahane finished the most productive over India which yielded 17 runs with a flick to fine leg boundary.
Openers Ian Bell (85) and Alistair Cook (75) gave England a solid start.
Kevin Pietersen (44) and Eoin Morgan (41) continued the momentum after the openers departed in quick succession with a 76-run partnership for the fourth wicket as they plundered 44 runs in the second Powerplay overs.
But India hit back with Dinda removing both Pietersen and Morgan to finish with two for 53.
However, there was no respite for the hosts as Craig Kieswetter and Samit Patel added 70 runs in the last six overs for the unbroken fifth wicket.
Their 50 partnership came in just 31 balls.
Patel who remained unbeaten on 44 off 20 balls finished the innings with a flourish smashing three consecutive boundaries off Bhuvneshwar Kumar, including a six over extra cover.
Kieswetter made a 24 off 20 balls with two sixes and a boundary.
He began the assault in the final overs against Sharma by smashing him over the ropes before Patel took over by cracking three boundaries in four balls in the penultimate over of the innings.
Kieswetter rounded it off with an extraordinary hit over extra cover as Sharma went for 20 in this over.
Dinda struck a double blow for England by getting rid of Morgan and Pietersen.
Pietersen tried to hit Dinda out of the ground but only succeeded in holing out to Kohli in the deep after making 44 off 45 balls with four boundaries and six.
India removed the dangerous Morgan with Dinda hanging onto a return catch after deceiving the left hander with a slower delivery to peg back England to 248 for 3 in the 42nd over.
It was a great comeback by Dinda who had been hammered for a six and four in the first two balls.
Morgan made 41 off 38 balls with four boundaries and two sixes after adding 76 runs in 10.5 overs with Pietersen for the third wicket.
Pietersen and Morgan regained the momentum for England in the second Powerplay overs as India conceded 44 runs.
Left-hander Morgan continued the assault by hoisting Dinda over long off and then hitting a boundary to mid off in the 41st over.
Pietersen got into stride opening his shoulders to slam two boundaries off Sharma to bring up the 200 of the innings in the 38th over.
He then cracked a boundary through through covers and smashed Ashwin over his head for a six three balls later in the 39th over.
Morgan hit two consecutive boundaries off Sharma to bring up their 50 partnership in 49 balls. He also thumped a six as Sharma went for 15 in the final powerplay over.
England openers Cook and Bell sent India on a leather hunt with a record stand of 158 before departing within the space of four overs.
India broke the opening stand with a smart piece of fielding by Rahane who ran out Bell with a direct hit after Cook set off for a quick single.
Bell made 85 off 96 balls with nine boundaries and a six with Cook's contribution in their partnership being 68.
Cook departed when he top edged a sweep to Rahane at short fine leg off Raina for 75 after facing 83 balls and hitting 11 fours and a six.
With India's blunt attack being exposed by Bell and Cook, Dhoni turned to his part timers Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli.
Bell was the dominant partner in the partnership completing his 24th one-day half century and fifth against India with a reverse sweep to the fence against Jadeja.
He faced 60 balls and hit seven boundaries and the first six of the match against Jadeja during his fluent knock.
Cook also got into the act with a reverse sweep against Jadeja for his sixth boundary and hita couple more when Dinda returned.
Cook brought up the 100 partnership with a exquisite jab to long off in the 19th over and reached his 14th ODI fifty by lofting Ashwin over midoff for his ninth boundary after facing 50 balls.
The left-hander hit his first six of the innings when he thumped Ashwin over long and swatted another to the midwicket fence two balls to step up the tempo of the England innings in the 24th over.
India introduced spin from the 12th over with Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin coming into the attack with the pacers failing to get a breakthrough.
Kumar went for 26 in his five overs and Sharma was a mixed bag going for 21 in four overs despite bowling two maidens.
Bell hit the first boundary of the match when he edged a rising delivery from Ishant Sharma to third man.
Cook brought up the 50 of the England innings clipping Dinda to the midwicket fence in the 10th over.
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