Kolkata: Dec 9, 2012
They might have won two back-to-back Tests to take an unbeatable 2-1 lead in the four-match series, but England skipper Alastair Cook insisted that his team would settle for nothing less than a victory in the fourth and final game at Nagpur, commencing on Thursday.
“Definitely (a win would be on our mind). You can’t go into that game with that (draw) mentality. We have to do same as we have done in these last two games (at Mumbai and Kolkata). And again, produce the goods,” said Cook.
“We know we can do something special, but it will need a lot of hard work to do that,” he added in the post-match media interaction.
Cook said that his team has put in lot of hardwork to turn the tables around after they went down in the opening Test match to India in Ahmedabad.
“What we have done really is take what we did in the nets out in the middle. We have started to perform close to our potential. That’s what really happened in this game.
“Our bowlers have been outstanding in that first innings to restrict them (Indians) to 300 on that wicket, and that was a great effort.
“Yesterday, when they were 80 for nought, to put in a session like we did yesterday afternoon when we took six wickets was high-skill bowling,” Cook said.
England took six wickets for 36 runs in the post lunch session yesterday with Graeme Swann giving the breakthrough with in-form Virender Sehwag’s wicket.
“The spinner at one end, Swanney getting (Virender) Sehwag straightaway and then the reverse swing from Jummy. It was exceptional. What we’ve done is play close to our potential in the last couple of games. That’s why we have won.”
Asked whether England had doubts in their abilities after India took the first Test in Ahmedabad convincingly, Cook said, “Not at all. I firmly believed that we were doing the right things, especially in the three weeks before the first Test, the preparation period.
“These results are proving it. Of course, it doesn’t stop now, we got to keep doing these things next few days. We got to recover well to go again in that Test.
“These last few days have taken a lot out of us. Five days, there are some really tired bodies in that dressing room but we got to keep doing the same things. And people putting up their hands at the right time.”
England were thrashed by Pakistan 0-3 in Dubai but they have come back stronger, and Cook said that the first thing was to realise the problem of playing spin.
“Probably it was not as big as made out, but all of us as a batting unit had to take a look at our technique. And work out a method that suits each individual player. I know we didn’t get a result in that third Test match (against Pakistan). That match and the two in Sri Lanka is where we worked our socks off and pretty much pulled up our technique against spin.
“It’s not going to happen overnight, and we are starting to get a few results now,” he said.
“We just spoke about batting for long periods of time.
There are not many people in world cricket who come to India and can dominate the bowling the whole day. Kevin, of course did it in Mumbai with a great innings, but that’s not the norm. The norm is to be able to accumulate runs and be prepared to bat the whole day or as long as you can. As a batting unit, we spoke about that a lot and we manged to deliver in these last couple of games. And probably the second innings in Ahmedabad,” Cook added.
Stating that it is turning out to a really good tour for England, Cook said, “We can’t keep patting ourselves in the back now. It’s not the time. We got another challenge very quickly round the corner. We have to recover well and go into that Test match believing we can win.”
About his sublime form, the captain said: “Yeah, I suppose I am. I felt quite calm in the middle. When you are fighting form, fighting technique, everything seems to happen a lot quicker. When you bat for 20 minutes, half-an-hour and you are in form, there is a nice flow to it and you are not panicky. When you are out of form, searching for the ball, it’s all very frenetic. It was nice to be able to keep that calm.”
Cook, who has accumulated more than 500 runs in this Test series so far, looks to return to the venue (Nagpur) where he debuted in 2006 with a half-century and a century in the second innings.
“It was a very special moment in my career. Wouldn’t mind a repeat of that performance,” Cook concluded.
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