So who's Cooked?
England skipper Alastair Cook delighted to prove that his batters can tackle the turning ball on Indian soil
One of the biggest positives for the England team after the thumping 10-wicket win in the second Test at the Wankhede Stadium yesterday must be the way their batsmen tackled Indian spinners on a turning track. Out of 30 wickets, spinners claimed 29.
With spin talk dominating before the series and a lot more after England’s nine-wicket loss in Ahmedabad, yesterday’s win must have calmed their batters’ nerves to a certain extent.
England’s two most experienced batsmen, skipper Alastair Cook and Man of the Match Kevin Pietersen, showed that it is no big deal tackling turning tracks and spinners.
Cook, who scored a fantastic ton in the first Test, played a sublime 122-run knock in the first innings of the second Test, while Pietersen dazzled with his stroke play and footwork, especially against Indian spinners during his 186-run innings. Had it not been their 206-run partnership, England would have been found wanting like the Indian batsmen.
“Everyone spoke about us not being able to play spin. And, to turn it around so quickly, it’s incredible. It proves that the work that we are doing is great work. We are not perfect yet though. To work hard in the nets and actually do the stuff in the middle is a great feeling,” said Cook.
So, whether they have cracked the spin code or not, Cook said the England dressing room will get a lot of belief with the way they tackled the Indian spin trio of Pragyan Ojha, Ravichandran Ashwin and Harbhajan Singh.
“I don’t think it’s anything about cracking or stuff like that. But it’s going to be hard work. We will continue to look to improve. I know how we are training and I am watching the guys who are training. We will get a lot of belief from this win,” he said.
About the victory, Cook said, “Incredible efforts from all the lads after last week’s heavy defeat at Ahmedabad. We could have let our heads drop down. We came here, worked hard in the nets and we did what we needed to do to win the game. One of the great games I’ve been involved with playing for England.”