The Telegraph
Thursday , August 7 , 2014
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Last week counts for nothing: Cook


Manchester: England did extremely well to fight back after the Lord’s debacle and win the Southampton Test. Captain Alastair Cook too batted well after a poor run with the bat. But the Englishmen are aware that the series is not yet over and the job is unfinished.

“Great that I scored runs last week… It was a big relief… But it was only one game. It’s like we’re approaching this game as a team… Last week counts for nothing,” Cook said during a media conference on the eve of the match.

“It’s the same with my batting… I want to be consistent and score big runs and there’s another opportunity this week. We put a lot of wear and tear into Indian bowlers in the third Test, that’s how you win a Test series. We put a lot of miles in their legs, like they did to us at Trent Bridge, which effected us at Lord’s. Now, at the start of the fourth Test, it’s nil all… You’ve got to earn the right to put miles in their legs again,” Cook explained.

He, however, stressed that the Southampton win helped the team take a step forward after a 10-Test winless run. “I feel that by winning the Southampton game and scoring some runs, we have taken a step forward as a side… It was very clear to us that it was just one game. It was such a nice feeling for the side… I don’t know about all that stuff about second phases as a captain… It was just a good game for every single guy who played,” he said.

Cook admitted that team selection would be a difficult. On one hand, there’s a winning combination, on the other hand, the conditions will also have to be taken into account. “The pitch is quite hard… We saw it on Tuesday… We played well last week and every member of that side did well… It’s a tough call to make and whoever gets left out will be disappointed,” Cook said.

“You always try to pick the best team, but you also try to balance that with the continuity effect… You want the guys to concentrate on what’s important, which is playing the game, not thinking on ‘I’m in, I’m out’. At certain times, you make calls like that, but successful sides are built on a bit more stability,” he added.

On Steven Finn, who has been called up in place of Liam Plunkett, Cook said: “It’s just great for English cricket that Finny is getting back to his best. To add him into the pile of fast bowlers can only be a good thing.”