Second Test: England ride out early loss of Alastair Cook

 

The Basin Reserve

New Zealand were as good as their word in the second Test last night and may have rued it. Brendon McCullum had insisted that his wide would bowl if they won the toss in Wellington.

He would have been perfectly entitled to change his mind when the coin duly came down in his favour but the green tinge on the pitch, the promise of extra carry and perhaps the prospect of England repeating their misdemeanours of the first Test persuaded him to stick to his intentions.

By lunch, England, who would also have bowled apparently, had reached 75 for 1 from 28 overs. Although they had lost their captain, Alastair Cook, there was little to concern the tourists either in the pitch or from the bowling.

Too much was wide, too much was short and scant pressure was applied. Nick Compton demonstrated the confidence bestowed by his maiden Test hundred last week in the first Test in Dunedin. Although he played and missed a couple of times at the new ball, he oozed assurance.

His first boundary was an assertive pull to a short ball from Trent Boult and he followed this up almost immediately with a well-designed cover drive for four. Jonathan Trott settled to the task in hand immediately and combined his usual stealthy defence with some cuts and pulls against some pretty moderate bowling.

It was all but inevitable that the flattering mention of Cook in the same sentence as Don Bradman, enunciated by McCullum, would have consequences. So it proved.

Barely had the Twittersphere begun to have fun with McCullum's well-intended compliment that Cook at present was as good as anyone who had played the game barring Bradman than the England captain was out. A Bradman type of dismissal it was not.

Cook, having unfurled a characteristic leg-side clip for four, looked in good order. But uncharacteristically he then turned an innocuous ball from the left-arm fast bowler Neil Wagner straight to wide mid-on. It might have stopped in the pitch as Cook looked suspiciously at the surface as he departed but it might not have done.

In any case, it took Cook's Test match batting average down to 49.38, slightly under half of Bradman's 99.94. But then it was not Cook who made the comparison in the first place.

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
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

The saffron censorship that governs India: Why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression

The saffron censorship that governs India

Zareer Masani reveals why national pride and religious sentiment trump freedom of expression
Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Prince Charles' 'black spider' letters to be published 'within weeks'

Supreme Court rules Dominic Grieve's ministerial veto was invalid
Distressed Zayn Malik fans are cutting themselves - how did fandom get so dark?

How did fandom get so dark?

Grief over Zayn Malik's exit from One Direction seemed amusing until stories of mass 'cutting' emerged. Experts tell Gillian Orr the distress is real, and the girls need support
The galaxy collisions that shed light on unseen parallel Universe

The cosmic collisions that have shed light on unseen parallel Universe

Dark matter study gives scientists insight into mystery of space
The Swedes are adding a gender-neutral pronoun to their dictionary

Swedes introduce gender-neutral pronoun

Why, asks Simon Usborne, must English still struggle awkwardly with the likes of 's/he' and 'they'?
Disney's mega money-making formula: 'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan

Disney's mega money-making formula

'Human' remakes of cartoon classics are part of a lucrative, long-term creative plan
Lobster has gone mainstream with supermarket bargains for £10 or less - but is it any good?

Lobster has gone mainstream

Anthea Gerrie, raised on meaty specimens from the waters around Maine, reveals how to cook up an affordable feast
Easter 2015: 14 best decorations

14 best Easter decorations

Get into the Easter spirit with our pick of accessories, ornaments and tableware
Paul Scholes column: Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season

Paul Scholes column

Gareth Bale would be a perfect fit at Manchester United and could turn them into serious title contenders next season
Inside the Kansas greenhouses where Monsanto is 'playing God' with the future of the planet

The future of GM

The greenhouses where Monsanto 'plays God' with the future of the planet
Britain's mild winters could be numbered: why global warming is leaving UK chillier

Britain's mild winters could be numbered

Gulf Stream is slowing down faster than ever, scientists say
Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Government gives £250,000 to Independent appeal

Donation brings total raised by Homeless Veterans campaign to at least £1.25m
Oh dear, the most borrowed book at Bank of England library doesn't inspire confidence

The most borrowed book at Bank of England library? Oh dear

The book's fifth edition is used for Edexcel exams
Cowslips vs honeysuckle: The hunt for the UK’s favourite wildflower

Cowslips vs honeysuckle

It's the hunt for UK’s favourite wildflower
Child abuse scandal: Did a botched blackmail attempt by South African intelligence help Cyril Smith escape justice?

Did a botched blackmail attempt help Cyril Smith escape justice?

A fresh twist reveals the Liberal MP was targeted by the notorious South African intelligence agency Boss