Cook sees reasons for encouragement

Alastair Cook saw reasons to be encouraged in England's performance against India despite suffering a 246-run defeat in the second Test on Monday.

Having started the final day in Visakhapatnam on 87-2 in their battle to salvage a draw, England promptly collapsed to 158 all out to fall 1-0 behind in the five-match series.

But captain Cook was upbeat in his assessment of his side, pointing to India's first innings showing with the bat, in which they scored 455, as the key.

He said: "It [the defeat] doesn't really change [our approach], we've got to win a couple of games to get us back in this series. It's a really exciting place to be as a side.

"Yes we've lost this game but we can hold our heads up high and there are lots of things to be encouraged on.

"I think we all saw the first day was the easiest to bat - the first two sessions in particular.

"You can see by the scoring rates. I know our last innings didn't really show that but obviously we were playing really defensively, trying to bat for a draw.

"But even India's third innings and our first innings it became harder. So the first day was crucial and it was a good toss to win, there's no doubt about it.

"In India you've got to score first-innings runs, you see how hard it was for India to score in their second innings.

"Obviously Virat [Kohli] played very well but if you take his 80 out of it then the rest of [the] India [team] only scored 120, so the third and fourth innings can be tough.

"It's all about first-innings runs and trying to get parity in that first innings. We lost those five wickets but from that moment on we showed a lot of character and fight.

"And in the fourth innings to bat 100 overs, we set our stall out and obviously it means the margin of victory is bigger, but we made India work very hard."

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