Monday, May 2nd, 2016

Rhodes Says Cook’s Superb Hundred Is “a Good Sign For England”

Rhodes Says Cook’s Superb Hundred Is “a Good Sign For England”

Worcestershire Director of Cricket Steve Rhodes paid tribute to Alastair Cook after he scored an unbeaten century on the second day of the home Specsavers County Championship clash with Essex and said: "That's a good sign for England."

Cook finished unbeaten on 130 on another truncated day at New Road as Essex closed on 335-2 from 90 overs.

Paceman Matt Henry claimed the only success of the day when he trapped Tom Westley (125) lbw to end a second wicket stand of 222 with Cook.

Rhodes said: I think Cook has been magnificent. He has got his third century of the season, 450 runs in four games, and he has looked fantastic.

"That's a good sign for England. He is one of the few players these days who knows how to bat for a day and he stuck to his game plan.

"He played some nice drives later on but they were checked drives which isn't normally his shot as well as showing great concentration so that made life difficult."

The Worcestershire bowlers stuck gamely to their task on a good pitch for batting.

Rhodes said: "I don't think we bowled that badly. I think we bowled okay and we've gone for about three and a half runs per over.

"If we had bowled badly we would be staring down the barrel of 400 already."

Rhodes explained the decision to delay taking the new ball until tomorrow.

He said: "Tomorrow will be an interesting morning. We've got a new ball to hopefully make some inroads there. Also they are chasing the batting points so it will be an interesting hour's cricket and like a little mini game within a game.

"We didn't take the new ball tonight. We wanted to keep it. If we had got inroads, if we had opened an end up, if Cook or Bopara had got out, then I'm pretty sure we would have taken it.

"But it is quite nice sometimes to have a new ball with bowlers who are pretty fresh and they've had a good night's sleep and the batters are having to start again.

"It is a good pitch. He (head groundsman Tim Packwood) has made a good cricket wicket. People might say there is too much dominance with bat.

"But let's also celebrate the fact we've got England's highest run scorer in the history of the game playing really, really well so it has not been easy."