“The best thing I’ve seen in England” – Alastair Cook in love with Shoaib Bashir, Tom Hartley’s performance

Alastair Cook, England, Shoaib Bashir, Ben Stokes

Former England captain Alastair Cook has praised the way the English spinners bowled on Day 2 of the IND vs ENG 4th Test match. Cook revealed that this was the best he had seen from English spinners in a long time. The English pair of Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir bowled 51 overs of India’s 73 overs on Day 2 and picked up 6 of the seven wickets. The hosts finished Day 2 with 219/7.

Shoaib Bashir tore through India’s top and middle order, where he dismissed the likes of Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rajat Patidar and Ravindra Jadeja. On the other hand, Tom Hartley finished with 2 wickets by dismissing Sarfaraz Khan and Ravichandran Ashwin. At one point, Bashir bowled consecutively and was gone for just one over due to the change of ends.

Alastair Cook praises the English duo

Alastair Cook said on TNT Sports, “The best I’ve seen in England in a long time,” Later in the conversation, Cook opened that the captain also plays a very important role here while moving the field, however, if the players don’t deliver then it doesn’t matter.

He said, “It’s great to have a captain who moves the field and does this and that. But if your players don’t deliver results, then it doesn’t matter what you do.”

Alastair Cook also recalled the 2016 tour of India and stated that the team used to lose all the pressure by bowling a bad ball in the over. He said, “When I was captain there in 2016, we bowled four or five balls per over, but we always released the pressure with a bad ball. And, in fact, England’s spinners over the last two or three years have had that trait. But today was the best I have seen English spinners in a long time – they didn’t do that.”

England have been at their best when it comes to playing against Indian spinners, or their spinners bowling against Indian batsmen. The Indian spin attack has not troubled the English batsmen as they were expected to do before the series. On the other hand, the spin quartet of Tom Hartley, Rehan Ahmed, Shoaib Bashir and Joe Root has worried the Indian batsmen.

Tom Hartley single-handedly helped England win the first Test match in Hyderabad and took 9 wickets, including one for seven in the second innings. Shoaib Bashir, on the other hand, never allowed the Indian batsmen to take on him in the fourth Test match so far. Bashir caught Shubman Gill and Rajat Patidar while he cleaned up in-form opener Yashasvi Jaiswal and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.

The pitch will get slower as the match progresses towards Days 4 and 5. It will become a tough target for the Indian batsmen to chase in the fourth innings, as it has been in the first three games. England failed to chase in the second and third Tests, while India fell short in the first Test match.

England have a good chance of winning the game and leveling the series; on the other hand, India would be keen to win the series and continue their unbeaten home record of winning test series.