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Pietersen took the pressure off me: Cook

Written by: Staff

Nagpur, Mar 4 (UNI) The hero of England's second innings opener Alastair Cook, who cracked a superb ton on Test debut today, said that kevin Pietersen took the pressure off him and that ''made a big difference in me making my century''.

Speaking to reporters after the fourth day's play in which England took firm control of the match, Cook said today was the easiest day of batting for him as he only had to give strike to Pietersen and then watch from the non-striker's end.

''I was told that I had to bat through while Pietersen went for the attack and, accordingly, was asked to give the major part of the strike to Kevin.'' ''Pietersen's knock took the pressure off me and allowed me to play my natural game. On top of that I had a few chances going for me. All these things made me feel that today would be my day and in the end it turned out to be like that,'' he said.

The 21-year-old opener also said that the jet lag had also helped remove any butterflies he otherwise might have had and went out to play as if it was just another game ''rather than my Test debut''.

Cook also praised his captain Andrew Flintoff, saying '' he is a bloke who is always there for you. He is like a man mountain, comes in and bowls at 90 miles an hour then dives around in the field and then comes to bat and smashes the ball a long way.

''He is a fantastic captain to have and we all have just been following him,'' Cook added.

The debutant opening batsman also said that the mood in the team was very positive and we need to continue to play the way we have been doing. ''Tomorrow we will give our best shot and if we bowl in the right areas and back it up with our fielding, then anything can happen,'' he added.


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