Alastair Cook hails second innings fightback
08:20 19 November 2012
England captain Alastair Cook took comfort from the character his side showed in the second innings despite having gone down to a nine-wicket defeat in the first Test against India in Ahmedabad.
The chances of a brave rearguard being commuted into a famous stalemate in this first match of four centred on Cook (176) and Matt Prior (91) on the final day.
But they could augment their combined defiance by only 16 more runs this morning - and with their stand of 157 broken, England lost their last five wickets for only 50 in a lunchtime 406 all out.
India’s resulting target of 77 was then treated with near contempt by Virender Sehwag and Cheteshwar Pujara, whose aggression put paid to any fanciful notion that Graeme Swann’s off-spin might yet make life difficult on a worn pitch.
Cook knew he and Prior had to remain at the crease if England were to pull off something special but he was pleased with his team’s fight.
He said at the post-match presentation: “There was an outside chance: Matty and I knew we would have to do the majority of the work. We got closer and closer and knew India had done a huge amount of overs in the field as well.
“That was the inspiration this morning. It wasn’t meant to be. We didn’t get that partnership going as we did last night.
“There was a lot of character showed by the lads. They fought hard.”
He added: “It was a great fightback. We were in a very tough situation and to get to the last day there is always a glimmer of hope.
“It had to be something very special - unfortunately it wasn’t meant to be today.
“We fought hard - 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.”