Sunday, Mar 24, 2019

England are "still in the game" says former captain Alastair Cook.

England are "still in the game" says former captain Alastair Cook.
01 Feb
2019

England are "still in the game" despite being bowled out for 187 by West Indies in the second Test, says former captain Alastair Cook.

The hosts - 1-0 up in the series - reached 30-0 on a pitch showing variable bounce on day one in Antigua.

"The luck was with West Indies," Cook told the BBC Test Match Special podcast. "If that changes, the game could change quickly.

"It will be a real test of character for England."
England were shot out for 77 in the first innings of a 381-run defeat in the first Test in Barbados. They were dismissed for 246 in the second innings as part-time off-spinner Roston Chase took eight wickets.

At the Sir Vivian Richards Stadium, they lost the toss and were reduced to 93-6 on a pitch showing uneven bounce. Although they recovered to 178-6, they lost their last four wickets for nine runs.

"England will be feeling hard done by," said 34-year-old Cook, England's record run-scorer in Test cricket.

"Barbados was a horror show, but they did not bat like a horror show today. That was very, very tough batting.

"Looking back, it was a very good toss to win for West Indies. The first two or three hours on that wicket, the variable bounce was the most I have seen on day one of a Test match."

Moeen Ali scored 60, adding 85 for the seventh wicket with Ben Foakes, who made 35.

Kemar Roach and Shannon Gabriel mopped up the tail to finish with 4-30 and 3-45 respectively.

England's seamers failed to match the hosts' potency as Kraigg Brathwaite and John Campbell survived 21 overs after tea.

"Whether it was down to the toss or not, West Indies have won today," said Cook, who played the last of his 161 Tests in September.

"England are behind in the game, but they have to dust themselves down, like West Indies did. England were 178-6, then West Indies got four quick wickets.

"If England can get on a roll, 30-0 can become 70-4 and they are right back in the game."

England batsman Jonny Bairstow, who hit 52 off 64 balls, told Sky Sports: "We saw on multiple occasions the variable bounce.

"They put balls in good areas and made us make decisions on a pitch that was very bowler-friendly first up.

"I don't think you felt in because you always knew there was a ball in there that might bounce. They've got three guys that are well over six foot and it's something that is difficult to contend with."

BBC

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