Need to pull ourselves together, says Cook

England skipper Alastair Cook said on Thursday that his team needed to bat well in the first innings to put India under pressure.

England were never really in the game in the first Test at Ahmedabad once they were bowled out for 191. “First innings runs are crucial. I spoke about it in Ahmedabad, as that’s where we lost the game. We have spoken about it here as well. We know it’s going to be important here,” Cook told mediapersons here.

Cook also said they need to pick themselves up from the mat quickly. “There is loss of confidence when you get beaten heavily, but it’s a quick turnaround and it’s a chance for us to pull it off. We must try and learn from what happened last week and play better.”

The Essex left-hander said the heavy defeat in the first Test hasn’t exactly spoiled the mood in the English camp. “If you look at our dressing room there are some world class players with excellent records. We have to hold our hands up and in these conditions we have not played well enough to get the right results. There is no one else to blame. So, it’s up to us to do the job out in the middle and get into the rhythm of batting, and try to put the runs on the board.

Kevin Pietersen has so far struggled to make an impact in the series, but Cook expressed confidence that the Surrey man could turn it around. “He held his hand up and admitted that he didn’t perform very well last week. You don’t need to tell KP that he didn’t play well in the last Test, but whoever has written off KP in the past has been proved very wrong and very quickly. He has scored hundreds everywhere around the world.”

Ian Bell will miss the second Test, having returned to England for the birth of his first child, but Cook said it would be an opportunity for another player to contribute to team’s cause. “I think instead of Bell there is an opportunity for someone else to come in. We are going to miss his experience, but it’ll give someone else an opportunity to impress the selectors.”

On the criticism of former players, Cook said, “You know as players you play well you get praised and if you perform badly, you get criticised. As international players you get far more scrutiny. It’s how you deal with all that pressure.”

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