Despite a monumental effort, Alastair Cook, after his dismissal, trudged off the field feeling gutted. For he knew with his exit England’s hope of drawing the first Test diminished.
Hence, he plays down any comparison with his double hundred in Brisbane, which steered England to an unlikely draw. “Technically, this was good but on that occasion we went on and drew the match. To score any hundred is special for England. To score in that situation made it even more special, but the result is what matters at the end of the day,” he said.
However, getting to the last day, which many thought England wouldn’t, they still had an outside chance of drawing the match.
“There was an outside chance. We were in a tough situation and to get to the last day there is always a glimmer of hope. But it was always a challenge and needed something special, and we knew me and (Matt) Prior needed to do majority of the work and there was inspiration at the beginning of the day,” he said.
The nine-wicket defeat, with distant echoes of England’s first-Test loss by eight wickets in Kolkata 1992-93, necessitates retrospection. “When you get beaten by nine wickets you have to look at a lot of areas. If we have to win this series, we need everyone to contribute. The lads have not performed as much as they would have liked in this game and they would be disappointed. We have to bat strong as a team,” he said.
England’s team selection (read leaving out Monty Panesar) will be under the hammer, too. “We have to look at our selection. We thought we did the right thing (by leaving Monty out). Results show we might have got it wrong,” admitted the England captain.
However, they could take positives from the second half of the game. “We can take a lot from the second half of that game with the batting. We need to work hard so when we go to Mumbai we can start again. We can look at a number of reasons why we didn’t win, our first innings was not good enough. But it was a great fightback in the second innings,” he said.
Also, he believes his batsmen can prosper in Indian conditions. “We can score runs against this Indian attack, it’s just that we have to score in both the innings and give ourselves a chance of winning the game. There are a lot of quality players in that dressing room who have scored hundreds against every international attack in the world,” he pointed out.
But as worrying would be the ineffectiveness of their seam bowlers, who were outshone by their Indian counterparts.