"Best I've seen England spinners bowl" - Alastair Cook in love with Shoaib Bashir, Tom Hartley's performance

Updated - 24 Feb 2024, 08:05 PM

Alastair Cook, England, Shoaib Bashir, Ben Stokes
[PC: X/Twitter]

Former England captain Alastair Cook has heaped praise for the way the English spinners bowled on Day 2 of the fourth IND vs ENG Test match. Cook revealed that this was the best he had seen the English spinners bowl for a long time. England’s pair of Tom Hartley and Shoaib Bashir bowled 51 overs of India’s 73 overs on Day 2 and picked up 6 of the seven wickets. The hosts ended the Day 2 at 219/7.

Shoaib Bashir ripped through the Indian top and middle order, wherein he dismissed the likes of Shubman Gill, Yashasvi Jaiswal, Rajat Patidar, and Ravindra Jadeja. On the other hand, Tom Hartley ended up with 2 wickets by dismissing Sarfaraz Khan and Ravichandran Ashwin. At one stage, Bashir bowled consecutively and went off for just one over due to the change of ends.

Alastair Cook heaps praise on England spin duo

Alastair Cook said on TNT Sports, “The best I’ve seen England spinners bowl for a long time”, further speaking in the conversation, Cook opened up that the captain also plays a huge role here as he moves the field, however, if the bowlers don’t deliver then it doesn’t matter.

He said, “It’s all well and good having a captain who moves the field and does this, does that. But if your bowlers don’t deliver, then it doesn’t matter what you do.”

Alastair Cook also remembered the 2016 tour of India and stated that the team used to lose all the pressure by bowling one bad ball in the over. He said, “When I captained there in 2016, we bowled four or five balls per over, but we’d always let off the pressure with one bad ball. And actually, spinners over the last two or three years for England have had that bit of a trait. But today was the best I’ve seen England spinners bowl for a long time – they didn’t do that.”

England have been at their best when it has come to play the Indian spinners, or their spinners bowling to the Indian batsmen. The Indian spin attack has not troubled the English batters as they were expected to do ahead of the series. On the other hand, the spin quartet of Tom Hartley, Rehan Ahmed, Shoaib Bashir, and Joe Root have troubled the Indian batsmen.

Tom Hartley single-handedly helped England win the first Test match in Hyderabad and picked up 9 wickets, including a seven-fer in the second innings. Shoaib Bashir on the other hand, never allowed the Indian batsmen to take him on in the fourth Test match so far. Bashir trapped Shubman Gill and Rajat Patidar whereas he cleaned up in-form opener Yashasvi Jaiswal and all-rounder Ravindra Jadeja.

The pitch will become slower as the match progresses into Days 4 and 5. It will become a tough target for the Indian batsmen to chase down in the fourth innings as it has been in the first three games. England were not able to chase in the second and third Tests, whereas, India fell short of the target in the first Test match.

England have a decent chance of winning the game and leveling the series, on the other hand, India would be willing to win the series and continue their undefeated record at home of winning Test series.


Alastair Cook IND vs ENG India National Cricket Team India vs England India vs England 2024 Shoaib Bashir Tom Hartley