It was yet another comprehensive Test victory for England against the Tigers when they posted a 181-run win in the first Test at the Zahur Ahmed Chowdhury Stadium yesterday. But without any doubt the success didn't come easy. If someone is still apprehensive about Bangladesh's ability to push their opponents in the five-day game then he or she would be better advised to listen to Alastair Cook's summing up the Tigers performance.
“It's a really good win on that pitch to get twenty wickets was a fantastic effort. It was a long, hard five days but to win like that was excellent. Everyone has contributed well. Test cricket is supposed to be hard and it was hard graft at the end to get those 10 wickets,” said the young English skipper, who led from the front with a massive hundred to take a 1-0 lead in the series.
"Full credit to the two batsmen (Junaed Siddiqui and Mushfiqur Rahim) and their partnership. Junaed and Mushi batted very well - but once we got that chance I'm very pleased with the way we jumped in and wrapped it up. Once we got the one wicket it folded nicely," he continued.
The young England skipper also admitted that they were a little bit frustrated after the way the two batsmen carried on their good work.
“The way those two fought, they didn't give us any chances, because if you apply yourself and bat really well, it's really hard to get a wicket. The 100 and 90 they got is fully deserved. It was easy to get frustrated but the way we kept our emotions in check to keep our skill level high was very important,” he said.
Cook also said that patience was the key behind their success in the game.
"Naturally you get frustrated but I was pleased with the way we kept banging away as a side. Somebody said we got 42 edges out of 400-odd balls. Things didn't quite go our way but we stuck together as an 11. Emotion does sometimes take over but we still executed our skills well. It was important that we reiterated exactly what we were trying to do, how we wanted to get them out and what areas to bowl and it worked.
"I was quite pleased how calm I kept in that heat. Last night was probably the worst time for me, towards the end of that session when we'd been in the field all day. But we kept calm because we knew they couldn't keep doing what they were doing, we just had to keep believing it would happen and thankfully it did,” he continued.
The England skipper highly praised his bowlers' efforts and said he didn't feel the absence of one extra bowler.
“The wicket lost a lot of pace as well so it got easier to play the short ball, but yeah, they adapted well. If the wicket does have pace it's a good option for a number of their top-order players. We certainly bowled less short balls at them, but the bouncer is always an option for our three quicks. We did change a little bit.
“You always wish you had more bowlers in hindsight, but we've won a game comfortably after a lot of hard work, so five bowlers is always a luxury, but it was a decision we made. Swanny (Graeme Swann) got ten and all the other bowlers bowled well. Of course, when a partnership is going your mind does wander, but it was the right decision because we won the game,” he defended.
Cook also defended his decision not to enforce follow-on despite having a 303-run first innings lead.
“Those conditions on day three, hot and humid and we bowled 90 overs, so our lads needed a rest. It's amazing what two session off does for a bowler. Even if we hadn't won the game I'd have still backed my decision
“You do talk to the bowlers a little bit, if they were hundred percent you've got to enforce the follow-on then you listen, but I'm not a massive fan of it, I was pretty set in my ways that we weren't going to enforce,” he said explaining the reason.