Flower: Cook sets the example

  • Last Updated: November 21 2012, 7:34 GMT

Coach Andy Flower wants England to follow the wonderful example set by their new Test captain Alastair Cook in the first Test defeat against India.

Alastair Cook: Plenty of backing from Andy Flower

Cook was a shining light in an otherwise underwhelming England performance, as they lost by nine wickets to India in Ahmedabad.

In his first Test as permanent captain, the opener could hardly have done much more to try to inspire his team - adding a heroic second-innings 176 to useful runs first time round.

England still fell well short, but Flower retains hope that they can learn from Cook's demonstration of what it takes to be successful in India.

"Cook is a strong bloke and a very, very fine cricketer,'' said Flower, who must try to galvanise the tourists for the second Test of four which starts at the Wankhede Stadium on Friday.

"I was obviously very impressed, along with the rest of the cricketing world that saw him play.

"We need more of our men to stand up in the way that he did.

"His was a lovely blend of concentration, but also skill - against the turning ball, and he played the reverse-swing very comfortably.

"His decision-making, balance of risk and reward was excellent. There was a lot to be learned by all of us from watching him."

As well as a misfiring middle order, England were hardly well-served by their bowlers either, as India racked up a commanding 521 for eight declared after winning an important toss at the Sardar Patel Stadium.

It was therefore a significant setback to hear yesterday that injured fast bowler Steven Finn will not be fit to try to inspire a resurgence in the second match of four.

In fact, Finn was today due for a make-or-break second scan on his thigh strain which will probably determine whether he plays any further part in the tour.

"He has unfortunately hurt his leg again, a couple of days ago, and is having another scan tomorrow," said Flower.

"We don't think he's got any structural damage, but it would be careless to suggest that he might play the second Test."

Should Finn again be cleared of serious injury, England are hoping he can play for the Performance Programme squad that is shadowing them in India - next week, with a view to a possible return for the third and fourth Tests in Kolkata and Nagpur.

"I've got an open mind about it. Let's see what his scan reveals tomorrow,'' added the coach.

"We hope he goes and plays that three-day game, and comes through well.

"If he comes through that well, he'll be available for the third and fourth Tests."

England batsman Ian Bell did not make it home in time on Monday to witness the birth of his first child, a son named Joseph William.

Bell is expected to be back in India in time for the third Test.


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