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Nottingham: Jul 13, 2014
England captain Alastair Cook has said the pitch for the first Test was more suited to India than his own side as the match ended in a tame draw here today.
The visitors scored 457 and 391/9d in their two innings while the hosts were bowled out for 496 in their only essay. “This pitch is so unique. It was only comparable to Nagpur in 2012 when we played in India and on that pitch we had four seamers to bowl. We had a very similar wicket here and we cannot read too much into this Test match,” said Cook.
“Different pitches make cricket special and the grounds man has said he got it wrong. We just want some pace in the pitches and it wasn’t like that. These things happen because pitches are hard to make. It is important that we have the characteristics of home wickets where we can bat when the sun comes out and the ball swings under cloud cover and the nicks carry,” he added.
James Anderson was awarded the man of the match award for his maiden Test fifty wherein he scored 81 runs and put on a world record 10th wicket stand of 198 runs with Joe Root, who scored 154 runs himself. Apart from them, Bhuvneshwar Kumar scored two half-centuries, with Stuart Binny and Mohammad Shami also scoring maiden Test fifties. This was after Indian opener Murali Vijay set the tone with his 146 runs in the first innings, clearly showcasing that this was a completely lifeless pitch.
“Both sides had massive 10th wicket stands. And then something strange happened, we went from 130-odd for one to 202/7 and it was a disappointing session. In the last three Tests we have had bad sessions and they are costing us. But at the end we would have taken 500 that we did get and put pressure on them. Until tea on day five we still had a chance to force a win,” said Cook.
“I cannot fault the bowlers or anyone else in the team at all. It was not a normal track and the edges weren’t carrying and going to third man instead. For 45 minutes we didn’t even realize what was happening and then we realised that we needed to adapt and chance. Then we worked on reverse swing and it worked for us, but not once did my team complain that this pitch was suited more to the Indians. I cannot fault them at all,” he added, praising his team-mates for a tough game.
The second Test begins at Lord’s on July 17 and England will be hoping for some help there. “This pitch was suited to the Indian batsmen and they scored lots of runs in this game. Maybe in the coming matches we will have more pace and bounce and we will know more about them in the next game,” Cook signed off.
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