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Declaration idea came about only after my dismissal: Harry Brook

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Last updated on 16 Feb 2023 | 01:28 PM
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Declaration idea came about only after my dismissal: Harry Brook

On Thursday, England made the second-earliest declaration in Test history

The Bazball juggernaut continued as England, at the Bay Oval on Thursday, made the second-earliest declaration in Test history, but Harry Brook, in the press conference post the first day, revealed that the Three Lions had no plans to declare until he got out.

England were inserted into bat by Tim Southee after losing the toss, but in typical Bazball fashion, they got off to a flyer, racing to 117/1 inside 18 overs. Ben Duckett continued his great form as he struck 14 fours en route a 68-ball 84. 

A flurry of wickets soon put the visitors in a spot of bother at 154/4, but Harry Brook picked up from right where he left in Pakistan as he struck a flawless 89. Brook’s stroke-making would have been the talk of the town on any other day, but on Thursday, Ben Stokes broke the internet by remarkably declaring after just 58.2 overs.

The gamble, however, paid off as England took three huge wickets before stumps.

"There was no plan at dinner to declare," said Brook in the press conference.

 "Me and Foakesy (Ben Foakes) were still batting together, and if I hadn't got out, the plan would've been the same.

"But because I got out, the plan changed. Stokesy (captain Ben Stokes)said that if there's two bowlers in at the same time, give them a couple of overs and we'll try and utilise the lights."

Brook described the third session as the best period to bowl in a day-night Test and said that England would have ten out of ten times taken three New Zealand wickets at stumps, had they been offered it when the declaration happened.

"The best time to bowl is under the lights," Brook said. 

"You can extract the most amount of swing and seam, so why not try and expose their top order to that? It's the hardest time to bat, and we've got three of the best bowlers to ever play the game.

"The pitch changes quite a bit with the lights, there's more pace of the surface and you can extract more swing and seam.

"We'd have liked one more wicket, but we'd have bitten your hand off for three."

At the Bay Oval, Brook, who’d scored tons in each of his two previous Test innings, fell agonizingly short of the three-figure mark. With a century, he would have made it four in four Tests and become only the second England batter to achieve the feat, after Ken Barrington, who achieved it twice in the 1960s.

He admitted that he was thinking about the landmark but insisted that he was still delight to chip in with 89 valuable runs.

"I was thinking about that a little bit when I was out there, but I'd taken an 89 every day of the week," said Brook.

After seven innings, then, Brook now averages 81.28 in Test cricket, having scored 85 or more runs in 5 of the 7 knocks. The 23-year-old credited his preparation and self-belief for his success.

"I felt good out there. My preparation has been key - it has been recently," said Brook.

"I've always had that inner belief. You have to in any elite sport. Maybe not so much what I have done, but I always had the belief I could score runs in Test cricket."

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