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Mumbai visit helped tackle spin: Cook

Debutant opener Alastair Cook said a stint with the Essex team in Mumbai last year had helped him tackle the Indian spinners in the first Test.

india Updated: Mar 01, 2006 20:45 IST

England's debutant opener Alastair Cook on Wednesday said a stint with the Essex county team in Mumbai last year had helped him tackle the Indian spin bowlers in the first Test on the opening morning.

"Last year I spent two weeks in Mumbai with Essex county team. It helped a lot in playing against spinners on subcontinent wickets. I learned a few things," said the 21-year-old batsman who made a confident entry into the highest form of the game.

"I was obviously nervous but I just got out and got a few runs. I enjoyed the experience of playing against two world class spinners (Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh)," he said.

Asked about the pitch, Cook, who made 60 from 3-1/2 hours and faced 160 balls, said "it was low. I did not know what to expect. I decided to knock the ball into gaps and get runs."

"Patience is part of cricket. I faced each ball on merit", he added.

The Essex batsman said that his coming straight to India from the Caribbean, where he was part of the England A squad, helped him cope up with the heat here.

"I was lucky to have been in the Caribbean before coming here. The heat was fine," he said.

Asked about the tips he had received from Essex coach and former England captain Graham Gooch, Cook said that he would be happy to end up with even half what the former opener had achieved in his career.

"He was a fantastic cricketer with an experience of over 100 Tests. If I am half as good as him I will be happy," he said.

First Published: Mar 01, 2006 20:45 IST