IND v ENG 2016: Alastair Cook Lauds Indian Youngsters After Mohali Win
The last time England were in India, they stunned the hosts by coming from behind (0-1) to win the series 2-1. Barring the first Test in Ahmedabad, they performed really well in the remaining three Tests to register their first series victory in India after 1984-85. Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led India found the likes of Kevin Pietersen, Ian Bell, Monty Panesar, Alastair Cook and Graeme Swann a hard nut to crack.
The visitors started in the same manner in this ongoing series too as they had Virat Kohli’s men in all sorts of trouble during the first Test in Rajkot. The hosts had to fight till the last over of the fifth day to ensure a draw and it looked like Alastair Cook’s men will once again pose a tough challenge to the world number one team. However, India have thoroughly dominated the series so far and the way they thrashed England in the third Test, it is quite clear that the visitors are struggling to compete against this new look Indian team.
And when England skipper Cook, who along with Joe Root played in the 2012 series, was asked to compare the two Indian sides and his own team, he said:“The India we played in 2012 was different. Probably an ageing team compared to now. It’s a different set-up, more youngsters, who also have got four years of experience in these conditions. Our team in 2012 was a lot more experienced side (Cook, Ian Bell, Kevin Pietersen, Matt Prior, Jimmy Anderson, Graeme Swann, Monty Panesar) and played a lot more in the sub-continent before that.
“This side, only two in the top-order have played more than 1-2 games in the sub-continent before we played in Bangladesh. That’s probably the difference,” he added.
The southpaw also rued the fact his team has failed to perform well in the last two Tests.
“We haven’t delivered in the last two games. There is nothing worse than that actually, when you know you can play better and you are not quite doing that.”
Cook also admitted his team made a wrong assessment of the pitch. The Indian fast bowlers were extracting good bounce even on the fourth day and constantly troubled the English batsmen.
“I think all of us misread this pitch. If we would have known, we would have obviously gone in with four seamers and two spinners. Because the seamers are always in the game, with a bit of reverse swing. We can control the scoring rate. I looked at that wicket along with a number of people before the game that we thought is more a lot dry.
“We all thought it’s going to spin more. So in hindsight we would have played four and two but I am quite happy with my decision because I thought it’s the right one at that time. We will have a look in Mumbai as to how it’s turning and bouncing,” the captain explained.
Cook was all praise for Mohammed Shami, who worked up some decent pace and also intimidated the England batsmen with his short-pitch stuff.
“We have always known he is a good bowler. Played a lot against him and his record in the sub-continent is actually excellent. If you look at it, he bowls better here in say swinging conditions, which seems very surprising. They have got a good balance to their attack,” Cook concluded.
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