DRS has changed the way we have to play spin, admits Cook

 

England spent most of the second day trying to read Saeed Ajmal. They made progress from Janet and John but only as far as, say, Enid Blyton's less cerebral works.

They ploughed their way through doggedly without supplying firm evidence that they quite understood what they were dealing with. The longer they stayed, of course, the more they seemed to grasp.

"I do feel I pick him the majority of the time," said Alastair Cook (right), who made 94 from 224 balls, falling six short of his 20th century for England. "Like any batsman you make mistakes and you have to get your technique right so you can adjust to it."

Cook floundered early in the piece as Pakistan introduced spin for the sixth over of England's innings. Playing from the crease, with minimal foot movement, he regularly altered his stroke late.

It was undoubtedly a trial and only Cook's general refusal to be subjugated at the crease saved him. He can perhaps take consolation from the fact that forerunners as England opening batsmen have not always found spin to their liking. Herbert Sutcliffe, for instance, was prone to being dismissed by wrist spin despite having a Test batting average of 60. He was the victim of the great Australian trio of his era – Arthur Mailey, Clarrie Grimmett and Bill O'Reilly – 21 times from a total of 75 Test dismissals and the blessed Herbert never had to negotiate the tricky stuff of the subcontinent.

Cook and his peers have had to alter their play since the introduction of the Decision Review System. It can reduce the whole business of batting to the grotesque. On the other hand, it also means that batsmen have to use their bat rather than kicking the ball away.

"It has changed the way you play spin over the last couple of years," Cook said. "You have to keep your pad out of the way and it certainly doesn't matter how big your stride is because gone are the days when you would say, 'Well, he's a long way down'."

The day was an object lesson for Pakistan in using DRS. Their captain, Misbah-ul-Haq, referred a plum lbw in the morning almost certainly because he could and he had nothing to lose. But when England batted, Pakistan asked for two reviews of not out lbw decisions which were given not out because the ball had hit the batsman outside off-stump when he was playing a shot. It was a waste.

Yet when they still had one of their two reviews up their sleeve they demurred. Replays showed not only that the ball had hit in line but would have hit middle halfway up. Had that been reviewed, England's resistance might not have been as prolonged as it was.

Cook shared his fourth century partnership with Jonathan Trott for the second wicket. Trott made 74 from 158 balls and, like Cook's, his innings was built on the virtues of determination, not style. When Pakistan got their deserved breakthrough they were just beginning to lose heart.

"When the partnership happens it's quite hard to break," Cook said. "You get used to conditions as a batter and suddenly the ones you're not timing in the first hour and a half you're timing and you feel more at ease.

"We always know as a fielding side if you get one then that is the chance as a team you can go 'bang, bang'. History suggests that happens in subcontinental conditions."

Facts: In figures

0: Number of centuries in the series so far. Alastair Cook was out for 94 yesterday.

2,031: Test runs for Jonathan Trott: now England's most prolific batsman never to have hit a six.

5.33: Kevin Pietersen's batting average this series, after three innings.

139: Alastair Cook and Jonathan Trott's stand: their sixth century partnership.

12.61: Average at which Saeed Ajmal has taken his 13 wickets so far this series, with another three yesterday.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Fifa corruption: The 161-page dossier that exposes the organisation's dark heart

The 161-page dossier that exposes Fifa's dark heart

How did a group of corrupt officials turn football’s governing body into what was, in essence, a criminal enterprise? Chris Green and David Connett reveal all
Mediterranean migrant crisis: 'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves,' says Tripoli PM

Exclusive interview with Tripoli PM Khalifa al-Ghweil

'If Europe thinks bombing boats will stop smuggling, it will not. We will defend ourselves'
Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles: How the author foretold the Californian water crisis

Raymond Chandler's Los Angeles

How the author foretold the Californian water crisis
Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison as authorities crackdown on dissent in the arts

Art attack

Chinese artist who posted funny image of President Xi Jinping facing five years in prison
Marc Jacobs is putting Cher in the limelight as the face of his latest campaign

Cher is the new face of Marc Jacobs

Alexander Fury explains why designers are turning to august stars to front their lines
Parents of six-year-old who beat leukaemia plan to climb Ben Nevis for cancer charity

'I'm climbing Ben Nevis for my daughter'

Karen Attwood's young daughter Yasmin beat cancer. Now her family is about to take on a new challenge - scaling Ben Nevis to help other children
10 best wedding gift ideas

It's that time of year again... 10 best wedding gift ideas

Forget that fancy toaster, we've gone off-list to find memorable gifts that will last a lifetime
Paul Scholes column: With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards

Paul Scholes column

With the Premier League over for another year, here are my end of season awards
Heysel disaster 30th anniversary: Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget fateful day in Belgium

Liverpool have seen too much tragedy to forget Heysel

Thirty years ago, 39 fans waiting to watch a European Cup final died as a result of a fatal cocktail of circumstances. Ian Herbert looks at how a club dealt with this tragedy
Amir Khan vs Chris Algieri: Khan’s audition for Floyd Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation, says Frank Warren

Khan’s audition for Mayweather may turn into a no-win situation

The Bolton fighter could be damned if he dazzles and damned if he doesn’t against Algieri, the man last seen being decked six times by Pacquiao, says Frank Warren
Blundering Tony Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

Blundering Blair quits as Middle East peace envoy – only Israel will miss him

For Arabs – and for Britons who lost their loved ones in his shambolic war in Iraq – his appointment was an insult, says Robert Fisk
Fifa corruption arrests: All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue

Fifa corruption arrests

All hail the Feds for riding to football's rescue, says Ian Herbert
Isis in Syria: The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of President Assad and militant fighters

The Kurdish enclave still resisting the tyranny of Assad and Isis

In Syrian Kurdish cantons along the Turkish border, the progressive aims of the 2011 uprising are being enacted despite the war. Patrick Cockburn returns to Amuda
How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields: Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape the US

How I survived Cambodia's Killing Fields

Acclaimed surgeon SreyRam Kuy celebrates her mother's determination to escape to the US
Stephen Mangan interview: From posh buffoon to pregnant dad, the actor has quite a range

How Stephen Mangan got his range

Posh buffoon, hapless writer, pregnant dad - Mangan is certainly a versatile actor