Cricket: Confident Cook Ready For India Spin Test
Zeeshan Mehtab Published November 16, 2016 | 03:35 PM
VISAKHAPATNAM, India, , (APP - UrduPoint / Pakistan Point News - 16th Nov, 2016 ) - England skipper Alastair Cook said Wednesday his spinners were running high on confidence and could turn the tables on top-tanked India if a turning track was offered in the second Test in Visakhapatnam.
England's raw spin trio of Moeen Ali, Adil Rashid and Zafar Ansari shared 13 wickets between them to force the mighty Indians on the backfoot in the drawn first Test in Rajkot. Leg-spinner Rashid led the charge with seven wickets as the hosts held on to a tense draw after losing six quick wickets on the final afternoon.
On the same track, India's famed spin attack struggled, with the world number one bowler Ravichandran Ashwin returning a dismal 3-230 -- his worst bowling figures at home since December 2012. Cook credited the success of his tweakers to former Pakistan off-spinner Saqlain Mushtaq, whose contract as England's spin consultant has been extended until the third Test of the ongoing five-match series.
"I thought they bowled excellently as a group of three spinners," Cook told reporters ahead of the second Test beginning on Thursday. "Credit to Saqi (Saqlain) coming in and giving those guys confidence to go out and play.
They are inexperienced in these conditions but they took a big step forward and it's great to see that. "If they continue at that level, like in Rajkot, then there is no reason why we can't put pressure on Indian batting with our spinners." Cook led from the front with a brilliant 130 in the second innings, one of four centuries by the visiting batsmen, to counter the Indian bowlers in their own den.
"We got a good total and we managed to push the game forward to the fifth day. "Unfortunately we didn't quite get over the line but we begin afresh 0-0 at the start of the second Test. And we are here to give India a run for their money," said Cook.