Pakistan v England: Alastair Cook says openers will 'put it right'

By Joe WilsonBBC Sport

Alastair Cook insists England can still rely on his opening partnership with Andrew Strauss as they try to recover from their dismal batting performance in the first Test against Pakistan.

Cook and Strauss scored just 33 runs between them as their side fell to a 10-wicket defeat.

England were bowled out for 192 and 160, Matt Prior top scoring with 70.

"It's our job to lay the platform. We didn't do that in Dubai," Cook said. "[But] we can put it right."

He added: "We made some poor decisions as a batting unit. To score runs you have to make good decisions over a long period of time and we didn't do that.

"Credit to the Pakistan bowlers who put us under significant pressure. But over the years we have handled it, and it was just a poor performance.

"The beauty of the next game coming so quickly is that we can put it right."

The match in Abu Dhabi will see Cook and Strauss become just the fourth pair in Test history to open in 100 or more innings together.

Only Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes of the West Indies, Sri Lanka's Marvan Atapattu and Sanath Jayasuriya and Australia's Matthew Hayden and Justin Langer have previously achieved the feat.

Strauss is without a century since the Brisbane Test in November 2010, but Cook says he is still the man to lead England from the front.

"He's got a great record and has proved that over a number of years," he said.

"It's always nice for our stability with Strauss at the top of order. We have had some great moments. We are pretty similar in character and we do enjoy batting together and hopefully on the 100th time we will do something special."

Despite the failures in Dubai, Cook and Strauss average 42.90 for the first wicket, and with England not having lost successive Tests since July 2008 against South Africa, England's vice-captain says there is no cause for panic.

"When you lose and you lose heavily, naturally it does dent confidence, but if you look up history, when we have produced a poor performance we've managed to bounce back well," said Cook.

"You don't become bad players and a bad team overnight, whatever you read or whatever people say about you.

"We know we have some world-class players in the team. It's about delivering over the next five days."

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