Ravi Shastri said that Indians should take advantage of the fact that the English captain, Alistair Cook is under tremendous pressure leading to the series, both because of his own form and his team’s slump in performance.
Cook has not scored a century in his past 24 innings and is facing some strong criticism from the former Interational players, lead by Shane Warne and Kevin Pieterson. A debate has already started on whether Cook shold remain as captain or not. But, so far , Cook has managed to gain the support of his team mates with Stuart Broad coming in public to support him.
As an Indian supporter, one would want that this debate should carry on and Cook should remain under pressure, he added. Cook has averaged more than 55 in the past encounters , and he being under pressure is an advantage for India.
Shastri compared this situation with India’s tour to England of 1986,where English captain David Gower was under a similar situation then. India’s plan was simple , just to keep him under pressure and not let him perform. India won the series 2-0 , for the first time on English soil and Gower lost his captaincy.
Shastri added that Cook is very tough mentally and it all depends on England on how they want to utilise Cook, the batsman. Making him captain doesn’t allow him to play freely and captaincy doesn’t come naturally to him. India freed Tendulkar from the burden of captaincy just to make full use of his batting.
The 5 Test match series starts on 9th of this month and the onus will be on Indian batsman to lead the front, considering the poor performances of Indian bowlers in the practice matches. It will in all sense be a battle between Indian batting and English bowling.