Alastair Cook takes aim at former team-mates as England shine on day of fourth India Test - 'Didn't do that'

Alastair Cook takes aim at former team-mates as England shine on day of fourth India Test - 'Didn't do that'

WATCH NOW: Sports round-up as England shine on day two against India

Jack Otway

By Jack Otway

Published: 24/02/2024

- 13:33

The Three Lions currently trail the series 2-1

Former England captain Alastair Cook has admitted his former team-mates would 'let off the pressure with one bad ball' when playing against India.

And he's now lavished praise on Shoaib Bashir and Tom Hartley after the Three Lions dominated day two of the action.

England impressed with the bat, posting 353 with Joe Root hitting an unbeaten 122.

And they then proceeded to shine with the ball, with Bashir particularly impressive as he took four India wickets - while Hartley took two - as the hosts slumped to 219-7 at close of play.

England India

England were outstanding on day two of the fourth Test match against India


Cook believes his former England team-mates were guilty of 'one bad ball' that would relieve some of the pressure on their Indian opponents.

He has praised Bashir and Hartley, insisting they 'didn't do that' with the spinners stepping up to make themselves counted.

"It is all well and good having captain that moves the field and does this and that but if the bowlers don't deliver it doesn't matter," he told TNT Sports.

"When I was captain there in 2016 we bowl four or five good balls but always let off pressure with one bad ball.

"Spinners for the last two or three years for England have had that trait.

"Today was best I have seen England spinners bowl for a long time. They didn't do that.

"As a batter when you know a bad ball is coming you can sit and wait.

"Bashir and Hartley, I can only remember four or five balls that were a bit of a pie.

"To do that over whole period, for guys who we keep mentioning their age and that they are at the beginning learning their trade, was incredibly impressive."

Root has also spoken out after day two.

And the England star believes they've laid down a marker as they look to level the series.

"We have had a good couple days. There is certainly stuff to build on in the rest of the Test match," he said.

On his century, he continued: "That's [to play the conditions] how I try to play every game - play the conditions and the situation of the game.

"It was very obvious what was needed in that situation and surfaces. Thankfully it paid off."

Root also joined Cook in praising Bashir, too, saying he's a brilliant addition to the group.


Alastair Cook England India

Alastair Cook has praised England's spinners while admitting his former team-mates would struggle against India


"He was brilliant. He is a great young lad to have in the group," he added.

"I didn't know much about him before the series but he has got great character, sense of humour and a huge amount of ability and skill.

"It was great to see him keep coming time and again today. He should take a lot of confidence for the rest of this game and going forward as well."

As for former England captain Michael Vaughan, the 49-year-old thinks the Three Lions are ticking every box at the current moment in time.

"Fantastic day's play. England have been very, very professional and smart," he told the BBC.

Shoaib Bashir

Shoaib Bashir took four India wickets to boost England's chances of winning the fourth Test match


"The captain has set clever fields and that has been backed up by the spinners.

"This is another incredible series that the England team are involved in. They certainly are the team to watch in Test cricket."

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