Cook feels the real challenge against India remains

Updated: 17 September 2011 17:08 IST

England captain Alastair Cook said on Friday that the challenge for his team would be to replicate their success of summer in the next month's tour to India for a five-match ODI series.

Cook feels the real challenge against India remains
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Cardiff:

England captain Alastair Cook said on Friday that the challenge for his team would be to replicate their success of summer in the next month's tour to India for a five-match ODI series.

England whitewashed India in the four-match Test series and also won the ODI series 3-0 besides winning the one-off Twenty20 in what has been a nightmarish winless tour for the Indians.

Cook was happy with his team's performance after the six-wicket win over India in the fifth and final ODI and said the boys have to be ready for the sub-continent.

"We are going to need that (courage) over the next couple of months in the sub-continental conditions, where we haven't played a huge amount of successful one-day cricket," Cook said.

"Our learning curve is going to be steep, but I'm very confident in the players we've got. When we went to India last time (in 2008) we didn't win a game, so that shows the challenge we have ahead of us in these next two months," he added.

Cook was all praise for debutant Jonny Bairstow, who was the Man of the Match with an unbeaten 41 off 21 balls.

"What a way to make an international statement...I think we've just found a player. I don't want to heap too much pressure on him. But to make your debut like that and go and play in such a controlled but such a positive way was incredible," Cook said.

"Everyone, the lads in the dressing room, was saying we've just found one," he said.

"The batting line-up as a whole can take a lot of credit for that, and the way Jonny (Bairstow) and Ravi (Bopara) finished it off was spectacular. What we have done is started off on what we hope will be a very successful journey," Cook said.

"With these young players coming in now - people like Jade, who's made a mark, obviously Jonny, Ben Stokes - I'm very happy with how we've played in certain areas."

Cook said that he has also made some progress as a batsman and a captain.

"The last couple of games I don't think I've played as well as I could have done. I think I've struggled a little bit with my timing. It always takes time for a new captain to come in and players to get used to your style. But we'll call it a good start, and move on from there," he said.

Bairstow said he wanted to play his natural game.

"I just wanted to go out and play my natural game. It wasn't necessarily easy, and it was really pleasing the way it turned out in the end. There were obviously some nerves. That's only natural, and you've just got to turn them into something positive," he said.

"It was a new challenge and something I really enjoyed. A massive part of it is how the guys, the captain and the coach, make you feel when you come into the set-up. You're made to feel completely at home," he added.

Topics : Cricket MS Dhoni Alastair Cook England India West Indies Australia India in England, 2011
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