Cook defends staid approach

England Skipper Alastair Cook has defended the way England approached their fourth innings during the defeat to India in the second Test at Vizag.

The skipper said the whole team backed the decision to play defensively from the outset and felt it was the right move in the circumstances.

Cook said after the loss: “We set our stall out pretty clearly that from the start of the innings that we wanted to take it as deep as possible.

“We saw in one game, South Africa played 140-odd overs. If we got to play 150-odd overs then we could have saved the game. We made a conscious effort to play that way. Everyone bought into it.”

The England team is packed full of aggressive players but Cook felt it was important that everyone was on the same page when it came to the approach to saving the game.

He added: “It’s not some people’s natural way of playing.

“But you say play your natural way and suddenly you’re four down then lower order start digging in and you think, ‘why didn’t we start that right at the beginning of the game’.”

There weren’t too many England players who came out of this contest without being criticized but Cook singled out Adil Rashid for special praise.

The spinner took 4 for 82 in India’s second innings as England bowled the hosts out for 204 to set up a tense finish.

Cook added: “One thing we spoke about in Bangladesh was we didn’t have the control with our spinners.

“Adil has taken it to heart, gone away and bowled beautifully.

“He wasn’t bowling the full tosses and long hops like he had been. That’s a huge credit to him.

“Rash can bowl. He’s a good bowler and I think he’s starting to believe it now. I think we’re starting to see a bloke who realises he can play.”