Cook: 'Stokes is our golden player'

Alastair Cook, who scored his 30th Test hundred, was all praise for 19-year-old opener Haseeb Hameed and all-rounder Ben Stokes.

Published : Nov 13, 2016 21:42 IST , Rajkot

Ben Stokes (right) provides his skipper Alastair Cook (left) the choice to play an extra spinner in the side.
Ben Stokes (right) provides his skipper Alastair Cook (left) the choice to play an extra spinner in the side.

Ben Stokes (right) provides his skipper Alastair Cook (left) the choice to play an extra spinner in the side.

Alastair Cook, who became the first English batsman to cross 1000 runs in India, said he was disappointed not winning the first Test.

"It's been a good five days, a hard five days. It's not been as quite as humid as Bangladesh, but it’s been a tough Test match," he said after the final day, "We scored four hundreds, the spinners bowled well, seamers were outstanding on a slow wicket and we got into a position to try to force a result. Disappointing we didn’t quite get over the line. It was a good Test and everyone should be proud."

On declaration after lunch : The reason behind it is we didn’t want to give India a sniff. Batting just to survive is a lot different than chasing 260 or 270. On the same wicket we were 180 for nought. It wasn’t a minefield. The odd ball did a bit. Maybe a braver person would have set them 240, but I thought it was a fair declaration, especially for the first game of the series.

On his century : At the top of the order, if you get through the first 30 or 40 balls, there are big runs here. Luckily my record here (in India) is okay. You’re always going to be slightly nervous on the first day of a big series. The second innings was quite hard work. Jadeja, bowling into the rough with a brand new ball, some at 60mph. I have not been in the greatest form. Not had that rhythm in the nets; did not have it in Bangladesh. After drinks I wanted to push on; it freed me up a bit and helped my game. Nice to score runs when you’re not at your best.

On Haseeb Hameed : He’s an unbelievable player. He’s pushing me closer to retirement. A 19-year-old outscored me. He’s a find, isn’t he? We said before the game we had no doubt he could play.

On Ben Stokes : He’s certainly a good player. He’s our golden player. He balances the side, allows us to play three spinners, three seamers. Bats at six. Playing on turning wickets is probably his last challenge. He has worked incredibly hard.

On the result : This is what Test cricket is about; the different circumstances you can play in. Going into that last hour there was all to play for. I thought it was a cracking wicket.

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