Cook admits misreading Mohali pitch


Alastair Cook was frank in his assessment of England's defeat to India, admitting that the tourists misread the pitch in Mohali and got their selection wrong.

England went down by eight wickets in the third Test on Tuesday as India took a 2-0 lead with two matches to play.

The tourists opted for three seamers and three spinners on a wicket that was expected to take turn as the match wore on, but Cook conceded afterwards the surface had not deteriorated as anticipated.

"I think all of us probably misread this pitch," he said.

"If we'd known what we know now, we would've probably gone with four seamers and two spinners, because the seamers are always in the game.

"I looked at that wicket along with a number of people before the game that we thought was dry. We all thought it's going to spin a lot more.

"So in hindsight we'd have played four and two but I am quite happy with my decision because I thought it's the right one at that time.

"Sometimes you like to see what four [seamers] and two [spinners] does but I thought it would have been a bit gamble on this wicket if it would have been turning, like it did in Bangladesh where we played three and three when it was turning a lot."

After winning an important toss, England failed to make the most of ideal batting conditions, posting just 283. The top order struggled badly, falling to 87-4 in the first innings and then 78-4 in the second, and Cook was under no illusions that improvement is needed.

"Four hundred was par and we were below it. It doesn't just happen that you win the toss and get 400. We were not good enough to do it first time," said the captain.

"It's not ideal when you lose your opener [Haseeb Hameed], he busts his hand and everyone has to move up.

"That happens once a year maybe, whichever team you are playing, but that was the second innings, we were behind the game in the first innings.

"No magic balls were being bowled really. It was good accurate bowling as you expect from India in these conditions. You can talk whatever way you want but the top order has got to deliver."