Cook admits England second best to Pakistan

2015-11-05 15:34
Alistair Cook (Gallo Images)

Sharjah - Alastair Cook admitted his Ashes winning England team was second best to Pakistan as they lost the three-match series 2-0 following defeat in Sharjah on Thursday.

Chasing a daunting 284-run target, England were bowled out for 156 on a weary fifth day pitch, with leg-spinner Yasir Shah taking 4-44 and Shoaib Malik finishing with 3-26.

"It is a really tough tour," said Cook, who top-scored with 63 in the second innings.

"Our record here is second to best. For everything in the last 15 days with our commitment and desire to do well in really testing conditions, we could not achieve it."

Cook rued missed chances, dropping Pakistan opener Mohammad Hafeez twice during his 151 and Asad Shafiq on 29 on Wednesday, which allowed Pakistan to score 355 in the second knock.

"The bottom line is that we were quite good enough with the bat to repel the Pakistan bowlers at crucial times and then in the field we slipped some tough half chances yesterday when the game was still very much alive.

"We were there, but we were not quite good enough to put Pakistan under enough pressure to grab the opportunity."

Cook admitted England did not have quality spinners as compared to Pakistan.

"It is clear that we haven't got world class spinners, that is very obvious to see. That does not mean they can't develop into," said Cook whose spinners Moeen Ali and Adil Rashid finished with nine and eight wickets respectively.

Contrastingly, Pakistan's leg-spinner Yasir Shah grabbed 15 in two Tests, Malik 11 and Zulfiqar Babar nine.

Cook said England won a series in India three years ago with Graeme Swann and Monty Panser as two quality spinners in their ranks.

"A lot of it is a bit of luck as when we went to India in 2012 with two of the best spinners in the world at the top of their game we won a series," said Cook of England's 2-1 win.

"We know and ECB (England and Wales Cricket Board) knows that there is an issue of not developing spinners at the moment.

"Moeen is quickest with 50 wickets, he has really done a good job as a backup spinner."

The 2-0 loss slid England to sixth in the Test rankings, something Cook doesn't worry about.

"I think the rankings are hard. Do they lie? I don't know, they do probably when it is such close points between third and sixth or seventh. Let us not worry about rankings.

"If we played a bit more consistent here it would have been good. We are an inconsistent side at the moment."

Cook praised his counterpart Misbah-ul-Haq.

"Misbah has done an outstanding job as a captain," said Cook of Pakistan's most successful captain with 20 wins.

"Full credit to Pakistan when it mattered the most, they have done it."

Read more on:    pakistan  |  england  |  alistair cook  |  cricket


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