We need to bat ourselves into the game - Alastair Cook
England captain Alastair Cook opined that his team will need to get to a total of at least 500 after the kind of start they have had in their first innings of the first Test against Pakistan in Abu Dhabi.
With a splendid unbeaten hundred on the third day, Cook showed the way for the England batsmen with his superb application.
Cook is pleased after being able to pull through the tough conditions and score a big hundred despite being on the field for all three days.
“It is a good three days," Cook told Sky Sports.
“It has been tough physically but pleased to match to get to the last hour when I was little bit tired.”
Cook revealed that Mahela Jayawardene’s words of confidence played a constructive role in his marathon innings on a typical flat subcontinent wicket.
“It is a different style of cricket (in the subcontinent).
“Certainly a slow and low wicket.
“If you can bat your game, be patient and take the odd calculated risks, you can bat for a long time.
“We have a master in our dressing room – Mahela (Jayawardene) who is so good at doing that.
“At tea he was like ‘come on you can do the day easy, you need to keep batting your way’.
“It is a slow day of Test cricket and we need to bat ourselves into the game.
“The wicket will deteriorate or not, I am not sure.”
Cook was largely untroubled during his stay at the crease and was able to play each ball on its merit, as he went past 1,000 runs in this calendar year.
The 30-year-old left-handed batsman feels that his game has developed over the years, having gained the ability to shift gears when needed.
“I like to think I have developed my game little bit.
“I have a few more attacking options.
“I do feel I can score aggressively when I need to and defend as well.”
Citing the example of Ian Bell, who fought his way through to a half-century, Cook stressed the importance of trusting one’s defensive technique on such flat pitches.
“The most important thing for me is when a young guy comes into international cricket, the first day, the first 30-40 balls with men around the bat, you can’t whack the ball straightaway.
“You need to trust your defence mechanism.
“Ian Bell wasn’t at his fluent best today but he really gutsed the first 60-70 balls when it was tough and then he got his rewards with a good 60.”
One thing that Cook does not have in his vast list of cricketing achievements is a triple century – having gotten so close to it in 2011 against India with a knock of 294 at Edgbaston.
Recalling that innings, Cook jovially stated that if he does get a chance this time, he will not throw it away like he did the last time.
"(Personally) I will take 295.
“If I ever get close to getting that (triple hundred) I will try not to get caught at deep point (referring to his dismissal on 294 against India in 2011).
“We have got to bat ourselves, get up to 500, you may never know.”
At the end of day three, England were still trailing Pakistan by 233 runs with Cook and Joe Root batting at the crease.
© Cricket World 2015