Dravid's men went 2-1 down after a 42-run defeat here at Edgbaston where slipshod fielding and poor running between the wickets, two of the problems that have dogged India on an otherwise successful tour of England, were again in evidence.
Rudra Pratap Singh, not for the first time, dropped a routine long-leg chance to give England opener Alastair Cook a reprieve.
Meanwhile wicket-keeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni completed one stumping, which saw Kevin Pietersen dismissed, but fumbled an arguably easier second chance when Owais Shah was yards out of his ground.
Yuvraj Singh remained an admirable exception to much of the slackness on show elsewhere, with India's general ground fielding and chasing to the boundary otherwise lacking the zip with which England went about their work.
"England are out-fielding us more than anything else at this stage," Dravid told reporters. "Your fielders can sometimes make your bowlers look better than they are and we are not doing that.
"We didn't field as well as we can, that was a disappointing part of our game, and they (England) fielded beautifully."
"It makes a big difference in a game you lose by 40 or 50 runs, you give away 20 and they save 20, that's the game. It's an area we need to improve."
England's total of 281 for eight on Monday was built around Ian Bell's 79, his best international score on his Warwickshire home ground.
India were well in the hunt while former captain Sourav Ganguly (72) and Dravid (56) were compiling a third-wicket stand of 104 in 115 balls but once the experienced pair fell in quick succession to fast bowler Chris Tremlett, the match slipped from their grasp.
"We knew one of us would have to go and try to make a big score," said Dravid. "The critical stage of the game was losing those two quick wickets which, when you've go in with six batsmen, we couldn't afford."
Dravid defended his somewhat surprising decision to send in Dinesh Karthik at No 3, a position filled by Yuvraj during India's nine-run victory in the second one-day international at Bristol on Friday.
He explained it was only that openers Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar had shared a stand of 113 on that occasion which meant Karthik, out for nought on Tuesday, didn't bat at first-wicket down in that match.
Karthik impressed as an opener during the Test series and Dravid cited England's handling of Bell as the model India should follow with the 22-year-old.
"Look at Ian Bell, we are all talking about him but England have been patient with him and therein lies a lesson for everybody."
The series continues with Thursday's floodlit fixture at Old Trafford.