Home > Features >

India vs England 2014, 3rd Test at Southampton: Alastair Cook’s innings could be a turning point for England’s fortunes

Alastair Cook © Getty Images
Alastair Cook rode his luck to score a valuable 95 for his team © Getty Images

Alastair Cook overcame a prolonged run of poor form to score a crucial 95 on Day One of the third Test between India and England at Southampton. Shiamak Unwalla analyses an innings that could change the fortunes of the English side. 

Alastair Cook must be a very relieved man. He has faced some major setbacks in recent times, both as a batsman and as captain. In his last 28 innings, he has crossed 50 just seven times, with his highest being the 95 he scored against India in the ongoing Southampton Test. As captain, he has failed to win nine matches in a row, and has lost seven of those nine games.

Ever since the Ashes 2013 in England, Cook has struggled for runs. While England managed to win that series, but they crashed and burned in the Australian leg of the Ashes, and were subsequently outplayed by both Sri Lanka and India, albeit in just one match. For a man who was battling detractors left and right, this knock of 95 would be invaluable. The commentators felt that despite missing out on his hundred, Cook would be extremely satisfied deep down.

Unlike most left-handers, Cook’s strokeplay can rarely be termed elegant. He lacks of aesthetic beauty; he does not possess the fluidity of Ian Bell, the belligerence of Kevin Pietersen, or the serenity of a fully-fit Jonathan Trott.

However, the fact that he went past David Gower to climb up to the third spot in the list of England’s all-time run-scorers, after having gone past Kevin Pietersen in the first session of the day, says something about the ability that Cook possesses. He missed out on his 26th Test ton — he already holds the record for most hundreds by an Englishman — but scored his 2,000th run as captain during the course of his innings.

Cook’s innings was far from fluent. He was dropped on 15 — an easy chance that Ravindra Jadeja in the slips would have caught nine times out of ten. Had it not been for the reprieve, it would have been just another failure for Cook. There have been so many of late.

But Cook battled on. He was beaten outside the off-stump more times than he would like to recount. He was nearly run-out at least twice, and didn’t play a confident shot till he was past 50. However, once he did pass 50, some of the old confidence was back. He was not quite the Cook of old, but he was getting there.

A combination of a flat deck and some wayward bowling by the Indians helped him on his way. When he was finally dismissed — for an often scratchy, sometimes attractive, but mostly mediocre 95 runs — he had helped England into a position of strength. From here, it will take something very special — or very bizarre — for England to lose their advantage.

With Cook finally scoring some valuable runs, his confidence will be much higher than it has been in a year. His batting confidence will quite possibly spill into his captaincy, and that will bode very well for England. This is a very good chance for England to arrest its slide. If they do, this innings from Cook may well have been a catalyst.

Complete coverage of India’s tour of England 2014

(Shiamak Unwalla is a reporter with Cricket Country. He is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic who likes to pass his free time by reading books, watching TV shows, and eating food. Sometimes all at the same time. You can follow him on twitter at @ShiamakUnwalla)

World T20 League 2014

Sep 19, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Raipur

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 20, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Mohali

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (16:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

World T20 League 2014

Sep 21, 2014 (20:00 IST)   at Hyderabad

More

World T20 League 2014

Sep 18, 2014  at Mohali

Kings XI Punjab won by 5 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 17, 2014  at Hyderabad

Kolkata Knight Riders won by 3 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Northern Knights won by 6 wkts

World T20 League 2014

Sep 16, 2014  at Raipur

Lahore Lions won by 55 runs

World T20 League 2014

Sep 14, 2014  at Raipur

Mumbai Indians won by 9 wkts

Photos

West Indies vs Bangladesh, 2nd Test at Gros Islet

Videos

Anderson plays golf with Jaguar competition winners

Glenn Maxwell, Thisara Perera guide Kings XI Punjab to 5-wicket victory against Hobart Hurricanes in CLT20 2014

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Hobart Hurricanes CLT20 2014 Match 2: Hobart Hurricanes’ likely XI

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Hobart Hurricanes CLT20 2014 Match 2: KXIP’s likely XI

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Hobart Hurricanes CLT20 2014 Match 2: Key battles

Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014 Match 1: Highlights

Champions League T20 Champions League T20 2014 Chennai Super Kings CLT20 CLT20 2014 CSK vs KKR Hobart Hurricanes Kings XI Punjab Kings XI Punjab vs Hobart Hurricanes KKR vs CSK Kolkata Knight Riders Mumbai Indians Northern Knights Pakistan West Indies

Javed Miandad says Pakistan can do well in ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 without Saeed Ajmal

Glenn Maxwell, Thisara Perera guide Kings XI Punjab to 5-wicket victory against Hobart Hurricanes in CLT20 2014

Kings XI Punjab vs Hobart Hurricanes, 2nd match of CLT20 2014: Glenn Maxwell dismissed by Evan Gulbis

Kings XI Punjab vs Hobart Hurricanes, 2nd match of CLT20 2014: Manan Vohra dismissed by Ben Laughin

Kings XI Punjab vs Hobart Hurricanes, 2nd match of CLT20 2014: David Miller out for a duck

Cape Cobras (CC) vs Northern Knights (NK) CLT20 2014 Match 3: Cape Cobras’ likely XI

Cape Cobras (CC) vs Northern Knights (NK) CLT20 2014 — Key battles

Herbert Chang: The Jamaican of Chinese origin who wasted his life in South Africa

Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) vs Hobart Hurricanes (HH) in CLT20 2014 – Highlights

Champions League T20 (CLT20) 2014: Kings XI Punjab’s batting gets the extra punch with Thisara Perera’s inclusion

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

636 Posts | 8 Fans

Video highlights: Ander Russell 58 for Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) vs Chennai Super Kings (CSK) CLT20 2014

Apple modifies iPhones, iPads access without user authorization

Expert tips to reduce stress and keep your heart healthy

Heart disease in India — 6 shocking facts you should know

Motorola Moto 360 gets listed on Flipkart

Khoobsurat movie review: Sonam Kapoor and Fawad Khan’s fairytale is insanely cute!

Humsafars producer: The women in my team convinced me to cast Harshad Chopda

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here