Zee Media Bureau/Chaitan Papnai
New Delhi: England skipper Alastair Cook was facing criticism from almost all corners. From experts to arm chair critics to former cricketers, all were after him as the English Test skipper was not only going thorough a lean patch with the bat but also as a skipper he was facing tough time.
From technical flaws to defensive captaincy, Cook was facing all. But then in the Third Test at Rose Bowl, Cook silenced his critics. He first took a brave decision to bat first after wining the toss in an uncertain track. And then he went on to score 95 runs in the first innings to lead his team from the front. His knock was not at all flawless by any sort, but certainly gutsy by all means.
Cook added 158 runs with Garry Ballance for the second wicket to lay a solid foundation for other batsmen to come, who didn`t disappoint the skipper. From day one of the Test, England dominated the match and eventually won it by 266 runs to level the five-match series 1-1. The way Cook used his seamers and lone genuine spinner Moeen Ali was outstanding. He gave his speedsters enough time to recharge their batteries and every time they came for a new spell, they troubled Indian batsmen.
The 29-year-old gave his best under immense pressure and has taken his team to a comfortable position in the series. The series is evenly poised 1-1, but a rejuvenated England certainly have an upper hand in the series.
Indian skipper MS Dhoni should learn some captaincy traits from his English counterpart. Especially, how to perform under pressure while playing in whites.
Now, Dhoni is in a similar situation in which Cook was after the second Test. Indian skipper is facing criticism for making some poor decisions in the third Test and his batting too is under the scanner. So it would be interesting to see whether Dhoni can take a leaf out of Cook`s book or not.
The next Test of the series is scheduled to kick-start from August 7 at Manchester.