VISAKHAPATNAM: Alastair Cook’s body language said it all. England are a tough side and they proved their skill in the first Test in Rajkot. However, India were the superior side here and England were outplayed.
“When you concede 450 runs and then are 80 for five, it’s a long way back. That cost us the game,” he said on Monday. “From that moment on, I thought the way Ben Stokes and Jonny Bairstow stopped that rot showed some character. But in these conditions, when you get behind the pace of the game, it's very hard to recover. We did show good skill and fight but left ourselves a big hole to get out of.”
The skipper also felt the toss was crucial.
“We can all agree that it was a good toss to win. The first day was the best day to bat. Even if you took our last innings, it’s a bit irrelevant but the scoring rates declined quite considerably. It was harder to score compared to the first day,” Cook said.
Cook, who has been sublime with the bat this series, was happy about Sunday’s determined effort. His first-wicket stand with Haseeb Hameed raised 75 runs, off nearly 300 balls. “We set our stall out pretty clearly from the start of the innings that we wanted to take it as deep as possible. If we got to 150 overs, we could have saved the game,” he felt.
He also had a good word for the Indian bowlers. “They are good bowlers in these conditions. We made them work really hard in that last innings. They are a fine bowling attack but we showed in one game (in Rajkot) that we can score runs. It's a disappointing loss but if we can get ahead of the game, we can put India under pressure. We’ve just got to earn that right to do it. We are still very much in the series. A couple of good tosses would help that.”