Cook be­moans weak­ened spin op­tions in Mum­bai loss

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Eng­land no longer have the world class spin op­tions avail­able to them that they en­joyed when they stunned In­dia in 2012, cap­tain Alas­tair Cook said af­ter his side fell 3-0 be­hind the hosts in the five­match se­ries yes­ter­day.

Eng­land are the last team to win a se­ries in In­dia when they beat the hosts 2-1 four years ago with spin­ners Graeme Swann and Monty Pane­sar rev­el­ling in the con­di­tions, and ably sup­ported by pro­lific wicket-tak­ing pace­man James An­der­son.

Dur­ing that se­ries, Pane­sar took 11 wick­ets at the Wankhede Sta­dium while Swann picked up eight more to help Eng­land thrash In­dia by 10 wick­ets.

How­ever, leg-spin­ner Adil Rashid, who is Eng­land’s high­est wicket-taker in the on­go­ing se­ries with 22 vic­tims, and off-spin­ner Moeen Ali have failed to match those per­for­mances.

“No dis­re­spect to Mo and Rash but Graeme Swann and Monty Pane­sar were world class bowlers in 2012,” Cook told re­porters af­ter Eng­land’s de­feat by an in­nings and 36 runs. “In th­ese con­di­tions you need that.

“Mo and Rash have bowled well but they are not yet in that league... I do not mean that dis­re­spect­fully at all and that is why we need a slightly dif­fer­ent bal­ance to the side. “In 2012, we could play the four bowlers, two seam­ers and two spin­ners, but in this side we need more op­tions.”

Cook ad­mit­ted Eng­land had erred by pick­ing an ex­tra seamer in Jake Ball while over­look­ing Gareth Batty as the pitch had noth­ing in it for the quicker bowlers.

“Here we knew it was go­ing to spin,” Cook said. “But one thing we have strength in depth in is our seam­ers and we can get con­trol with our seam­ers if it is not spin­ning a huge amount.

“Gen­er­ally here in Mum­bai it spins slightly later on in the game but it spun pretty much from ball one and last time in 2012 it didn’t and the pitch looked ex­actly the same.”

Cook was also left to rue Eng­land’s fail­ure to take the chances that came their way. Jonny Bairstow missed a stump­ing op­por­tu­nity of Murali Vi­jay on 45, while Rashid dropped a dif­fi­cult re­turn catch from In­dia cap­tain Vi­rat Kohli on 68 and Joe Root also put down Jayant Ya­dav at slip on eight. Vi­jay scored 136, Kohli went on to make 235 and Ya­dav 104. “We missed three good chances to take wick­ets and they madeus pay,” Cook said. “Miss­ing Kohli, miss­ing Vi­jay and Ya­dav cost us dearly.

“It is just frus­trat­ing. To beat In­dia in th­ese con­di­tions you have to play the per­fect game and we haven’t man­aged to do that.” —Reuters

MUM­BAI: In­dia’s cap­tain Vi­rat Kohli (R) greet­ing Eng­land’s Joe Root af­ter In­dia won the fourth Test cricket match be­tween In­dia and Eng­land at the Wankhede sta­dium in Mum­bai yes­ter­day. — AFP

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