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HindustanTimes Sat,29 Nov 2014

Cricket

Cook's slump was surprising
Sourav Ganguly
August 02, 2014
First Published: 01:28 IST(2/8/2014)
Last Updated: 01:32 IST(2/8/2014)

There is no word called ‘momentum' in cricket. I have never believed in it and this was again proved in Southampton that it is about that day and particular Test. India were outstanding at Lord's but England dominated all five days of the third Test.

Once again, it was on show that winning the toss is so important in Test cricket. Dhoni batted first in tough conditions at Lord's, Cook at Southampton and it goes to show that runs in the first innings set games up and all those who will be criticising the team must remember that it doesn't take long for an India turnaround.

As much as England will be delighted with their performance, their first win in 10 Test matches, the Indians will know that this is not the same England of 2011 and are a beatable side.

We have heard since we picked up the cricket bat that this game is a great leveller and what a Test match the hugely criticised Cook had! I liked the way he spoke to Atherton after the Test at Lord's where he said that he was determined to turn it around instead of reeling under pressure.

I must say it was a determined effort. He made changes in his technique, went a lot more forward to the medium pace of India. What surprised me was someone with so much of runs and success behind took so much time to do it.

Having played with champion batsmen of my era, I have seen them make adjustments on the morning of Tests and Cook, having played for such a long period, should start developing that habit a lot more in the days to come.

Anderson was not just outstanding, but this is probably the best I have seen him for a while. He is close to 100 Test matches which is remarkable for any fast bowler.

The writer is a former India skipper


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