IND vs ENG: Former Skipper Alastair Cook Reveals Concern of ‘Lack of Match Preparation’ Ahead of Test Tour

Curated By: Amar Sunil Panicker

Last Updated: January 22, 2024, 16:15 IST

London, United Kingdom (UK)

English batting legend and former skipper, Sir Alastair Cook revealed his concerns over England’s lack of match preparation ahead of their Test tour of India which will begin in Hyderabad on January 25.

The former English skipper had written in his column for The Sunday Times where he said, “A problem England will have is a lack of match preparation.”

Cook was the captain when England last won a Test series in India back in 2012 and revealed that his team had taken part in a couple of warm-up games which featured some quality opposition in the India A side. He shared,” When we won in India in 2012 we had three warm-up games against good sides — Yuvraj Singh, Ajinkya Rahane and Murali Vijay were in the top four in the India A side we faced and Cheteshwar Pujara played in one of the other games.”

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However, Cook was also understanding of why the English camp decided to take their training to the UAE. He added, “I can understand why England wants to practise in a controlled environment where they know what the nets and facilities are going to be like and there’s nothing too unpredictable.

Cook believes that the trend of home sides dominating the series can be unhealthy for the future of the longest format. He also suggested the idea of hosts providing good conditions and quality opposition for their practice games. He said,”It would be good if there was some sort of unwritten agreement between countries to put on decent practice matches in decent conditions for touring teams….at the moment too many series are dominated by the home side and I don’t think that’s healthy for Test cricket.”

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India is yet to lose a Test series at home with their last defeat coming at the hands of England back in 2012.

Cook however believes that the newfound approach in Bazball is the way to go for the Engish side. He added, “There is no doubt what England are going to try to do in India and I now think it is their best chance of success. They won’t follow the traditional rules of batting in the subcontinent. I always found the key time was the first 30 balls when you are trying to acclimatise.”

Cook also added,”When you walk out to bat, particularly as a middle-order player coming in against spin, you’re surrounded by close fielders. There is a lot of noise and chatter

However, Cook believes that the subcontinent is a great place to bat. He said,”…if you can find a way to get past that then you find that the subcontinent is one of the nicest places to bat because you don’t get the changing conditions you get in England, where it’s sunny one minute then a bit of rain changes everything.

The former skipper believes that the Bazball approach could disrupt the Indian bowling attack’s flow but also added that it does not work out against India at home. He said,”It might upset their rhythm and how they go about it. They just won’t be used to it as most sides try to hang in there, but that generally doesn’t work against India at home.

Cook believes that the adaptive approach to their aggressive shots is the way to go keeping in account the pitch they are given. He added,”The key will be adapting the aggressive shots they play based on the pitch they are confronted with. If it is turning excessively, the odds aren’t in your favour if you are rushing down the wicket and having a massive hack.”

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