ALASTAIR Cook believes England’s historic back-to-back Test wins in India are deserved reward for their year of hard work and willingness to learn.
Yesterday’s seven-wicket victory at Eden Gardens put England 2-1 up with just one match to play, and on course for a first series success there in 28 years.
The sustained wicket-taking spells of spinners Monty Panesar and Graeme Swann and reverse-swing seamers James Anderson and Steven Finn are continued demonstration of the skills England’s bowlers have perfected to prosper in Asia.
But Cook’s three successive hundreds, culminating in an English record-breaking 23rd, and significant first-innings runs almost throughout the top six in this third Test are a world away from the hapless performances against Pakistan spin with which England began the year in the United Arab Emirates.
The first step, according to England’s new captain, was to recognise there was an issue - and then start doing something about it.
“We’ve had a tough 2012,” he said. “But the way we rectified our problems is a credit to our coaching staff, the leadership of Andy Flower and the players. The first thing was a realisation of a problem, playing against spin. It probably wasn’t as big as everyone made out. But all of us as a batting unit had to have a look at our technique and work out a method which suits each of us individually. We worked our socks off trying to improve our technique. Although we didn’t get immediate results we are now starting to.”