Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo
England captain Alastair Cook has announced that “it’s nice to finally contribute” after arguably the worst scoring drought of his international career.
Cook put England in a strong position at the end of the first day of the third Test in Southampton with a brilliant knock of 95.
His aim of scoring a century was cut short when he was caught behind off the bowling of India all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.
“If you’d have offered me that at the beginning of the day, of course I’d have taken it,” Cook told Sky Sports. “I’m disappointed because it adds to the innings without a hundred, but I’ve batted OK and it’s nice to finally contribute.
“It’s a long time since I’ve been able to contribute to the England team and that’s what’s hurt me more than anything. When you don’t score runs, you try to talk about it and lead but if you feel like you’re personally not doing anything, it’s a hard place to be.
“You always back yourself. I know I can score runs. To score 90-odd is a good feeling.
“There was a bit of grinding – to be at 247-2 has given us a platform to go big in this first innings. There was a bit of a lapse from what I’m trying to do and it was nice to get a wake-up call to not do it again.”
Cook also thanked everyone who supported during the tough time he has endured over the last 12 months.
“I can’t tell you how much I wanted to score a hundred,” he said. “The support I have had throughout this period, which I’m not through yet but it’s a little step in the right direction, has been great.
“When you haven’t scored runs for a long time it’s only natural to be nervous and only natural to want it even more.”
Cook’s innings of 95 also put him in third place on the list of all-time England run-scorers in Test history.
However, Cook is more concerned about building on the strong start his side made on the first day.
“We’re in a good position after day one,” he said. “It was quite slow at times because they bowled defensively at us. There are lot of miles in their legs but we’ll have to earn the right again on Monday and hopefully accelerate later.”