We Were Not Good Enough In The First Innings: Alastair Cook
England had their fair share of chances to take command in the match but they failed to grab those opportunities while India capitalised on them to win the third Test by eight wickets. Alastair Cook won a good toss but his team could score only 283 runs. The score was never going to be enough to challenge the world number one team but the visitors had a ray of hope when they reduced the hosts to 204 for 6. However, Cook’s bowlers once again failed to dismiss the Indian lower order quickly as R Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja and Jayant Yadav scored half-centuries to help India post 417 runs.
As expected Cook was frustrated with the way his team performed despite winning the toss. While speaking to the media after the match, the England skipper said:“It’s frustrating that we had an opportunity to get ahead of the game and we were not good enough to take it.”
When Cook was asked about the turning point in the match, he said:“What we did is we showed good character to drag ourselves back into the game. India were 200 for 6, still 70 runs behind us. And then they obviously scored the lower-order runs which we have also done to teams in the past and that took them past our score. We managed to drag ourselves back in but in this part of the world, you just know that you need a big score, certainly on a wicket like that. There is no hiding behind it. We were not good enough to do that. Obviously, Jonny Bairstow got a good 80-odd but we need 100s like we did in Rajkot. It was not too much of a different wicket, to be brutally honest. Probably a little bit harder to score here than it was there.
“400 was par and we were below it and that hurts you in this part of the world. You just to hold your hands up and say we were not good enough to get that 400. It doesn’t just happen. You don’t just win the toss and someone gives you 400. You have to go out and play well to do it. We were not good enough to do it on the first day,” he added.
England have suffered another setback as their opener Haseeb Hameed has been ruled out of the remainder of the series after suffering an injury on his finger. The 19-year-old was struck on the left hand by Indian pace bowler Umesh Yadav on the first morning Test. While he did not field in the rest of the Test, he came to bat at number eight in the second innings and made 59 not out.
When asked about his injury, Cook said:“He has got a broken hand, he needs a plate put in it to fix it. Yes, it’s obviously desperately unlucky for the youngster who impressed us all with his technique, his talent and obviously now his bravery and determination to, when he’s playing for England, he’ll do anything to get out there. I thought the way he played today, we all obviously knew what was happening, to play like that, that was a very special knock and if you needed anyone to prove how tough a youngster is, that is a little knock that we will all hold him in huge respect for.
“He’s out for the whole tour, he is going home. A replacement will be called, maybe in the next 24 hours,” he added.
None of the pitches that have been offered in this series so far were square turners. However, the Indian bowlers bowled brilliantly to gain an upper hand in the series. Not only the spinners but the pacers have also bowled really well and when the England skipper was asked whether the Indian bowling lineup has the ability to take 20 wickets abroad, he said:“It’s not for me to comment on that really, whether they can or not. They have played a lot of cricket at home and won a lot of cricket at home. I don’t know the history of this side since Virat [Kohli] has taken over. How much cricket they have played away from home and how successful they have been. Clearly, that’s the challenge of any good side. If you want to be a good side, you have to win away from home.”
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