First Test: One bad game doesn’t mean we can’t play, insists Alastair Cook

Pakistans players celebrate their victory in the first Test
Pakistans players celebrate their victory in the first Test
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Captain Alastair Cook refused to use the absences of James Anderson and Ben Stokes as an excuse for England’s 75-run defeat in the first Test at Lord’s.

Yasir Shah took his match haul to a Pakistan ground-record 10-141 to help bowl England out for 207 late on the fourth evening, in pursuit of 283, their highest chase at this venue.

Cook said: “We had the side that was capable to beat Pakistan here, but that’s the beauty of a four-Test series.

“It’s disappointing. There was a bit of naive batting, kind of basic errors. But there are good players in that dressing room and one bad game doesn’t mean they can’t play. It is a tough pill to take, losing at home but there are three games to go.”

Cook also spoke about the 11-wicket haul of bowler Chris Woakes, adding: “He has always been a brilliant bowler and I said after the South Africa series that we have not seen the best of Chris Woakes at international level. It’s great news that we are adding to the side.”

Pakistan captain Misbah-ul-Haq was happy with the way his side performed in the first Test, saying: “I am really proud of the team, the way that they fought and just come out and show really good skills and mentally everyone was strong. It was a really good win for us.

“Winning the Test match against a top side who are really good in their home conditions, that speaks volumes about this team and for all of the players.”

Misbah also spoke about the performance of Mohammad Amir on his return to Lord’s six years after the spot-fixing incident, saying: “Everyone believes he’s such a great cricketer and fine bowler and want him to be in the game.

“It’s going to be a really memorable game of his life and from here he can restart his career and prove to everybody that he is a good kid now and a mature cricketer.”

Man of the match Yasir added of his contribution: “Lots of pressure on me and I was more focused. I was enjoying my cricket and that’s all I can do, the responsibility lies on me. I dedicate that performance to my team because they were supporting me.”

England head coach Trevor Bayliss rued his side’s missed chances.

He said: “We went with the team, the guys we played with can play better. I’m not sure when the others guys will be right to play, hopefully in the next Test or two we will have two or three guys fit.”

He added: “From our view, our technique of catching, especially in the slips, is still a work in progress. Our movement from side to side needs to be better. So we have some work to do there.

“From the fielding point of view, it wasn’t necessarily the dropped catches.

“We didn’t have any spark in the field, we couldn’t create any chances, we couldn’t help the bowlers put pressure on the opposition. That was the bit I was disappointed in the most.

“All credit to Pakistan, they kept the pressure on all day and forced us into making mistakes.”