Alastair Cook’s batting has been flawless in this series so far as he has two centuries from two matches. As a young captain, Cook, who took over from Andrew Strauss, is fast learning to be a good leader. England bounced back in style after the humiliation at Ahmedabad. But it could not be possible without Cook, who played a big role as a batsman and as a captain. He was not surprised by the turnaround in this Test as he believed his team could do it because of hard work. “I’ve been watching how hard we have been working in the nets. What is nice though is to be rewarded for that. We are nowhere near perfect yet. But it’s encouraging to see the results this week,” said a smiling captain.
Coming after the first Test defeat, Cook said this was one of the great games he was involved playing for England. “It was a tough loss in Ahmedabad and the England dressing room was a tough place to be in after that loss. Everyone said about us not being able to play spin and it’s incredible to turn it around so quickly. It proves that we are doing great work. We are not perfect yet though. To work hard in the nets and actually do the stuff in the middle is a great feeling.
“We could have let our heads drop down. We came here, worked hard in the nets and we did what we needed to do to win the game. One of the great games I’ve been involved with playing for England,” he explained.
Cook said Kevin Pietersen was the difference between the two teams in this Test. “That’s why you want him in the team. That’s not many in the world who can bat like him. He was the difference between the two teams and also he scored quickly and took the game away from India. If you want to be hard, you probably needed a few more from him in the end. That’s probably being hard (smiles),” he said.
Of course, the contribution of Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann was huge. “They were magnificent. They knew that they were the guys who had to perform and they had to take the wickets. They fronted up to that challenge.”
Has the momentum shifted? “I don’t know about that. We’ve got two games to go now and it’s level now. It’s been a really good performance, but we won’t get carried away. We are going to enjoy the victory. Test matches in India take a lot out of us. We will enjoy this, but when we get to Kolkata we will train with the same purpose and intensity that we did here,” he said.