Alastair Cook reveals he thought like a bumble bee before last day's play against Bangladesh
England skipper made a smart move on Day 5 as he stuck to his quicker bowlers to bowl out Bangladesh.
England captain, Alastair Cook stated that he was confident that his side would emerge victorious against Bangladesh in the first Test despite a Sabbir-lead Bangladesh looking on top at the end of Day 4. Regarded as one of the best Test batsmen around, Cook also added that he thought like a bumble bee before the start of fifth day’s play.
On the final day of the first Test, 33 runs was all Bangladesh needed. England, on the other hand, required two wickets. The key for Bangladesh was their debutant, Sabbir Rahman, unbeaten after scoring his half century.
“I was fairly confident this morning, to be honest. I thought we would be able to create enough chances. But the doubt was whether we would be able to take those chances.
“It was a brilliant Test match. After the first session I didn’t think it would go onto the fifth day. There were ebbs and flows. The crucial moment was in day three when we managed to get a lead and that proved the difference obviously,” said Cook after the match in Chittagong.
Cook was seen adopting a different approach on Day 5. He decided to go into attack mode with both his pacers. The preference to trust in reverse swing over spin turned out to be fruitful as Ben Stokes took two in an over to end Bangladesh's resistance.
That Sabbir did not shield the tail also proved to be critical in the outcome. But Cook needs to be appreciated for preferring pace bowlers over spinners on a deteriorated surface.
“I thought like a bumble bee. I took my time last night and floated around with a few ideas in my head and then decided it would be Broads and Stokes. I think the real reason was that they would be able to take more runs against the spinners. Once the new ball was available I would have used the spinners, but if you used the spinners early on, you couldn’t have changed,” he said.
Cook was quick to credit Bangladesh for taking the game close in a spirited display of batting in the fourth innings. Though Sabbir played brilliantly, something he might learn as he gains experience is not to frequently expose the tail enders in such a situation.
Cook credited the way Bangladesh played spin in these conditions. He was assuming that the target set would be more than sufficient for an easy victory but Bangladesh almost proved him wrong with a stubborn effort on Day 4.
Though England emerged the winning side, they wouldn't be pleased with a close victory against a side at the bottom of the Test rankings. The way the English batsman struggled against a debutant U-19 spinner does not auger well for them. They have to face the likes of Ashwin and Jadeja in India a month from now and the dancing shoes are hardly on yet.
The England skipper added that there would be change in personnel for the second Test against Bangladesh so as to give more players a chance ahead of their hectic Test series against India. Given the way Batty, Rashid and Ali bowled, it will be surprising if India struggle against them.