Home > Features >

Alastair Cook: You never silence everyone, that is the nature of the beast

Alastair Cook was given a rousing ovation from the spectators at Ageas Bowl and also applauded despite Alastair Cook missing out on a well-deserved ton © Getty Images
Alastair Cook was given a rousing ovation from the spectators at Ageas Bowl and also applauded despite Alastair Cook missing out on a well-deserved ton © Getty Images

Alastair Cook has come through fire and the restrained smile that touched his lips today was laced with relief and perhaps exoneration. Even though his bat rightly did the talking, the England captain packed subtle punch in his suave responses. Arunabha Sengupta looks back at the comments during the post-match press conference.

 

On the eve of the Test match, Alastair Cook had spoken to the media beside the nets of the indoor cricket school on the first floor of the Pavilion at Ageas Bowl. The sun had baked the terrace, the heat had radiated across the room in bristling currents, the questions had grilled the England captain as they had been doing for the past several months. He had answered with a smile constructed with all the painstaking effort that goes into scoring the most demanding hundred.

Today, after the day’s play, he faced the press again, in that same setting. But this time the sun was too busy playing hide and seek with the clouds to stifle the premises. The air was cooler and 95 runs had wiped at least some of his troubles away. Cook had come through roaring fire, but perhaps the worst was now behind him. The smile was more spontaneous, easier on the eye and tinged with relief.

“It has been a tough six months and it’s still going to be tough. But, I think I’ve got a good attitude to the job and can smile through tough times.”

The feelings were mixed. Cook agreed that it was frustrating to get out at 95, but added that if someone had been offered 95 while he talked to the press the day before, he would have snatched it out of the benevolent hands.“It would have been good to get the other five runs. Everyone keeps talking of the 26 innings and 27 innings, if I had got the hundred they would have stopped and recounted. But it’s just nice to contribute.”

There had been the stroke of luck when Ravindra Jadeja dropped him at 15, but it was perhaps fate’s way of balancing things after having put him on the most torturous of racks. “I have always fought through my career, and sometimes you do need a little bit of luck. In some ways you earn it.”

The support from the crowd at the Ageas Bowl had been incredible all day. Cook had been given a rousing ovation when he had walked out to bat, and the crowd had applauded wildly when he had reached his fifty. Even when he disappointed all by getting out at 95, he was cheered all the way back to the pavilion. The press and the ex-cricketers might have been asking for his head, but the spectators had supported him to the hilt.

“It was an amazing reception, even as I was walking out to bat. I haven’t experienced anything of that sort. It would have been fantastic to get a hundred with all that noise, but even the applause for the fifty was amazing.”

However, Cook did not feel that the knock had done enough to silence all his critics – or any knock would ever do that.

“You never silence everyone or anyone –that is the nature of the beast. It is just heartening that my batting is going the right way. It is a sense of contributing to the team. It is frustrating as a batter when you are in the dressing room, others consoling you but you feeling you have let them down.”

Cook was happy with the changes to his game during the innings. ”I was going at the ball a lot more. I never really change my trigger movement in the middle of the innings, this was the first time I did that. I got back into the ball a lot better than I had been doing. I have never had this sort of pressure as a player, with everyone sayingI should give up … It feels good to be back among runs.”

During the knock, Cook went past David Gower and Kevin Pietersen in the list of England Test run getters. Yet, according to him, he was not thinking of the milestones as he walked in.

“They are very nice achievements, aren’t they? But honestly, at the beginning of the day I was not thinking of any of them. Any runs today were good runs.”

However, one persistent local journalist asked whether it felt particularly pleasing to go past some individual’s aggregate. It was not too subtle a hint at Pietersen’s recent comments about Cook and the England captain flashed a smile as he answered, “Let’s be honest, it was not to get past Gower.”

Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014

(Arunabha Sengupta is a cricket historian and Chief Cricket Writer at CricketCountry. He writes about the history and the romance of the game, punctuated often by opinions about modern day cricket, while his post-graduate degree in statistics peeps through in occasional analytical pieces. The author of three novels, he can be followed on Twitter at http://twitter.com/senantix)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Colombo

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

More

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 22, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 21, 2014  at Dambulla

Match abandoned without a ball being bowled

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Live Cricket Score Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 3rd ODI at Dhaka

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs New Zealand, 3rd Test at Sharjah, Day 1: Mohammad Hafeez completes second-consecutive century

Don Bradman vs Clarrie Grimmett — how did The Don fare against the craftiest leggie of his era

Vijay Hazare Trophy 2014-15: Top 5 performances of the tournament

Phillip Hughes injury: Spare a thought for Sean Abbott

Australia Australia vs South Africa Australia vs South Africa 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 India India tour of Australia 2014-15 South Africa South Africa tour of Australia 2014 South Africa vs Australia South Africa vs Australia 2014 Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 3rd Test at Sharjah: Azhar Ali dismissed on 39 by Mark Craig

Sachin Tendulkar prays for Phil Hughes’ speedy recovery

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014, 3rd Test at Sharjah: Mohammad Hafeez completes half-century

Phil Hughes head injury: Nari Contractor hopeful of Hughes’ recovery

Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 3rd ODI Dhaka: Anamul Haque misses out on 4th ODI ton by 5 runs

Quinton de Kock equals record for most centuries before the age of 22

Wriddhiman Saha’s performance in the 1st Test at Brisbane could make or break his career

England tour of Sri Lanka 2014: Stats overview of past encounters

Pakistan vs New Zealand 2014: New Zealand’s inspired performance in 2nd Test serves important lesson to non-Asian countries

Don Bradman vs Clarrie Grimmett — how did The Don fare against the craftiest leggie of his era

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

Bigg Boss 8 Highlights: Sonali Raut’s greed ruins Praneet Bhat’s opportunity to meet his girlfriend

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Indian-American Singer Dixi Patel’s Journey with Music Helps her Excel in Life

Revealed — number of calories in different types of milk

ISL 2014: Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone could attend Indian Super League semi-final if Atletico de Kolkata qualify

What was Abhishek Bachchan’s T-shirt doing on Priyamani’s bed?

Week by Week Pregnancy Guide – Week 27 of your pregnancy

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here