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We lost the game on day two: Cook

England captain Alastair Cook said England lost the game on the second day when they were reduced to 80/5 in reply to India’s 455.

We lost the game on day two: Cook
Alastair Cook, England skipper


Addressing the media at the end of the Test, Cook said it was very hard to recover after getting behind in the pace of the game. “It was a good toss to win. The first day was the best day to bat. It was a lot harder to score apart from the first day. And when you concede 450 runs and then to be 80 for 5, it's a long way back. That is what cost us the game. From that moment on, I thought the way Bairstow and Stokes stopped the rot that night, they faced 80-odd balls, showed some character and we built on that the next day. But in these conditions when you get behind the pace of the game, it's very hard to recover. We did show some good skill and fight to do it but you leave yourself a big hole to get out of,” Cook said. 

The England skipper lauded the Indian bowlers for their effort but said that they were made to work very hard. “They bowled well. They are good bowlers in these conditions. In Rajkot, we got over 700 runs. Here we made them work really hard in the fourth innings. They are good bowlers but they are not supermen by any stretch of imagination. They are a fine bowling attack but we showed in one game that we can score runs against them, with four players scoring hundreds,” he added. 

Cook said England would look to put the pressure back on India at Mohali and said his opposite number was the difference between the two sides. “If you took Virat Kohli's runs out of the game — I know you can't do that —we have put their batsmen under a lot of pressure. Rashid has been excellent in these two games, a real step up for him. Broad bowled well. Jimmy is good on his comeback. So there are a lot of good things. We have got to put the whole game together to beat India. If we can get ahead of them in Mohali, then we can put pressure on them,” Cook added. 

The England skipper hinted that Jos Buttler could replace Ben Duckett at Mohali. “That would be something that the selectors will have a look at, but he is definitely in contention. It's hard cricket in your first few games. The difference, I think, is probably quite stark from playing in Northampton to playing here. Suddenly, every innings is scrutinized. That's the nature of the beast. Ben is a talented cricketer and I think we'll see a lot more of him in an England shirt. Whether he plays in Mohali or not, the selectors would take a call on that. But he's been working incredibly hard. He's the first in the nets this morning, last night,” he added. 

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