India vs England: Alastair Cook heaps praise on Indian bowlers after first day of Oval Test
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India vs England: Alastair Cook heaps praise on Indian bowlers after first day of Oval Test

Following a bright start to the match, which saw Cook scoring a patient 71, England lost six wickets in the last session of the day to hand over the advantage to India in the last Test of the series.

cricket Updated: Sep 08, 2018 12:50 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
India vs England,England vs India,Alastair Cook
England's Alastair Cook in action against India on the first day of Oval Test.(REUTERS)

England opener Alastair Cook lavished praise on the India bowlers after the visitors reduced the hosts for 198/7 at stumps on the first day of the Oval Test, on Friday.

Following a bright start to the match, which saw Cook scoring a patient 71, England lost six wickets in the last session of the day to hand over the advantage to India in the last Test of the series.

At the end of day’s play, the former England skipper had only good things to say about Indian bowlers, especially Mohammed Shami — who although went wicket-less , but provided the impetus that the visitors sorely needed to put the pressure on England batsmen.

Also Read: They just kept coming, Moeen Ali hails India bowling trio

“I thought the way the Indians bowled was fantastic,” Cook told Sky Sports. “I think I played one cut and one pull shot all day. A lot of credit to them.”

“It was an unbelievable spell (from Shami),” he said. “I was facing Jadeja at the other end and quite happy. We found it hard to know which way it was going. One thing Mo (Moeen Ali) did pretty well, yes he was playing and missing, but he wasn’t curtain-railing as much, he was playing the line.

Cook also revealed that he was nervous of the fact that emotions would get the better of him and he may end up getting out cheaply in his last Test . But the England opener made good use of the morning conditions and hit a masterful 71, before getting dismissed by pacer Jasprit Bumrah.

Also Read: Ravindra Jadeja keen to regain spot in all three formats

“I think because of the emotion I didn’t want to not get a score. There’s nothing worse than going out and not contributing after all the fuss about the week. I was probably just as nervous as I was anyway,” Cook said.

“Everyone says, ‘just enjoy it, it doesn’t matter how many runs you get’, but actually that’s never the case. There’s never a game of cricket ever like that. It was nice to get off the mark, that was the most important thing first. I think it was seven or eight balls and then got going.”

England only lost one wicket before tea and were making steady, if slow, progress at 131 for one on the first day of the fifth Test. But Cook’s exit sparked a slump that saw six wickets lost for 48 runs, with England captain Joe Root, Jonny Bairstow and Sam Curran all dismissed for noughts.

At stumps, England were 198 for seven, with Ishant Sharma taking three for 28 in a miserly 22 overs and fellow paceman Bumrah two for 41 in 21 that included two wickets in four balls.

First Published: Sep 08, 2018 12:49 IST