Unlucky Compton is all praise for captain Cook
6 December 2012
KOLKATA, 6 DEC: It was a typically serene Test match afternoon at the Eden Gardens; it was also an afternoon that clearly belonged to the English batsmen. By reaching 216/1, Alastair Cook & co. have, in-effect, rendered the Indian bowling attack effete. Nick Compton, who was involved in a 165-run opening partnership with captain Cook, came across as quietly exuberant in the Press meet, and understandably so.
However, the grandson of legendary English cricketer Denis Compton unequivocally stated that the ball in which he was declared leg-before-wicket had actually brushed his gloves before hitting the pads. "We are very satisfied, our goal was to build partnerships, to grind the Indian bowlers down and I think we achieved our goal," he said.
Compton, who scored the first half-century of his fledgling Test career today, was ecstatic in having batted with Cook.
"He is still a young player, but he stands out for his unflappable nature and his relentless pursuit of doing the simple things correctly all the time. His longevity, his correctness and his mental toughness is admirable".
The Indians, frustrated in the field for long hours and in danger of being batted out of the match, sent in their fielding coach Trevor Penney to tackle the Press onslaught. The indifferent Indian fielding came in for attack, especially the performance of Zaheer Khan, who had at times looked lazy and out of position.
"Zaheer has his own methods when fielding, he is a superstar with the ball and is back to full fitness. He has also been working hard," was how Penney defended Zaheer.
Slip-catching was another key issue today with Cheteshwar Pujara dropping Cook early in his innings. Penney said that it was difficult to replace fielders such as VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid but Pujara and R Ashwin had been training hard and are good catchers. M S Dhoni had persisted with his four specialist bowlers throughout the day and his decision not to use part-timers to add variation to the attack was also criticised, but Penney understandably stood by his captain saying that it was his prerogative.
Compton felt that Cook has added a new dimension to his game by using his feet to the spinners. Cook had dispatched the ball into the stands off a majestic lofted on-drive.
"We have focussed on winning sessions and have managed to do that effectively in this Test match. The Indian spinners are clever and competent bowlers and the key was to getting used to the conditions and being patient". When asked about the English strategy in tackling the illustrious Indian batting line-up, Compton gave full marks to the bowlers, especially Monty Panesar, and felt that they have pinned the batsmen down which has engendered mistakes.
The English are clearly calling the shots in this match but Penny felt that the series could till either way still. "Tomorrow is a new day and a couple of early wickets can easily shift the balance in our favour," he said.