Mumbai: Alastair Cook had missed out playing at the Wankhede the last time England played a Test match here because of food poisoning. That was in 2006 and England went on to that Test by 212 runs.
Six years on, the England captain is drawing inspiration from that Test in his bid to level the series after the loss in Ahmedabad.
“It is always nice to return to a ground where you have won before,” Cook said on Thursday. “Not sure how many people played in it. Maybe Jimmy I think… We just lost a game and now we need to bounce back well. We didn’t perform well and we’ve struggled in the last 12 months but there are very good people in this team who are desperate to try and help turn that around."
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“Clearly, last week was tough on confidence when you get beaten in a heavy manner. The beauty of the game is such a quick turnaround. Now, we have got the chance and the opportunity to try and put it right. We have to try and learn from last week and play well.”
Not just James Anderson, but Kevin Pietersen and Monty Panesar also played in that Test from the current lot.
Cook felt putting up a sizeable total was crucial. “The first innings runs are vital… We know that. I spoke about it when we lost the game and I have been speaking about it ever since.”
“We have some world-class players with fantastic records… We have to hold our hands up and say we haven’t played well enough in these conditions. There is no one else to blame."
“If you see us train now, we are definitely trying to do the right things and it is now about transferring that out in the middle. Try to get into the rhythm of batting out there and try and put the runs onthe board. The guys have done in it the past. There are couple of guys with slightly more experience who have scored hundreds in subcontinent conditions.”
On Kevin Pietersen’s failure in Ahmedabad, Cook said: “KP didn’t perform well last week… You don’t need to tell him that. He knows that, and anyone who has ever written off KP in the past has beenproved very wrong very quickly. He is a world-class player, and he has scored hundreds around the world.”
He didn’t wish to comment on the Stuart Broad-Ian Botham Twitter controversy.
“We know as players that when you play well, you get praised and when you perform badly, you get criticised. There is far more scrutiny and it is about how you deal with that."