Farbrace defends Cook’s decision to bat


England captain Alastair Cook has come under heavy fire for his decision to bat again in the second Test against Pakistan at Old Trafford, despite holding a lead of nearly 400 runs going into the second innings.

Instead of enforcing the follow on when they bowled Pakistan out for 198, England opted to bat again, and ended day three with a lead of 489 runs after rain cut the day short.

The likes of former skipper Michael Vaughan were baffled, if not infuriated by the seemingly boring decision, with Vaughan saying on commentary: “I’m absolutely staggered. They are 391 runs ahead and there have been intervals – 391 runs!

“Win the game today – why delay it? What happens if it rains again? England are so far ahead of the game that I don’t know how they play it from here.”

But England assistant coach Paul Farbrace defended the skipper, saying that there was a lot of time left in the match, and they wanted to make sure the target was even further away from Pakistan’s reach.

He said: “We’re in the driving seat of this game, have played some excellent cricket over the three days and we think by keeping them under pressure we will dominate.

“There’s no point risking putting ourselves under pressure later in the game. There’s still 200 overs to be bowled in the match so there’s plenty of time.

“It could have gone either way, but I think it’s the right decision and hopefully we’ll be proven right.”