Alastair Cook : To Beat England At Home Is A Monumental Effort
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To Beat England At Home Is A Monumental Effort, Says Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook, the former captain said that England may have got it wrong with their rotation policy which has led to their winter season going bad. Alastair Cook also said that India will have a hard time beating England in their own den in the upcoming five-match Test series regardless of the hosts’ poor form.

England suffered heavy defeats in the series against India in the India tour and eventually missed out on the World Test Championship final and then lost 1-0 in a two-Test series to New Zealand at home. England started the season off with an impressive series win in Sri Lanka and going 1-0 up away from home against India.

File image of Alastair Cook. Reuters
File image of Alastair Cook. Reuters

Alastair Cook: England Started Well Winning In Sri Lanka And Winning 1st Test Against India But Resting And Rotating Players Led To Their Downfall

However, they then suffered heavy defeats in the series to miss out on the World Test Championship final and then lost 1-0 in a two-Test series to New Zealand at home.

“Clearly it was disappointing. England has got itself in a tough situation for the winter. It was going so well, winning in Sri Lanka, and then they’re 1-0 up against India,” Alastair Cook told ESPNCricinfo.

“To then rest and rotate players, ever since that moment they’ve ended up chasing their tail – ending up with a fifth-choice wicketkeeper (James Bracey), an unbalanced side even though people were playing the (T20) Blast,” said Alastair Cook.

Joe Root
Joe Root. Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket

“You’ve got a Test captain who hasn’t been able to play his best side, yet we seem to be playing a full-strength side in the T20s against Sri Lanka. The decisions don’t look like they’ve been made correctly.

“Of course, they’re trying their best to make the right decisions for the right reasons, but when you’re playing for England, you get judged on end results most of the time, so you’d have to say it hasn’t worked,” he added.

Joe Root amassed the maximum runs in the 4 match Test series against India which his team lost 3-1 by notching up 368 runs averaging 46.  He was instrumental in the 1st Test which England won after he scored 218 and 40 in the two innings. He continued his form in the Test series after his outstanding performance in Sri Lanka where he managed to score 426 runs in 2 Tests averaging 106.5.

Alastair Cook Felt Sorry For Joe Root And Predicts India Will Have A Hard Time Beating England

Alastair Cook said he felt sorry for Test captain Joe Root as he could not field his best team against New Zealand.

“I genuinely feel sorry for Joe Root because he hasn’t had his best players available. You can’t buy that experience of guys like Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali. That kind of player makes a big difference.

“When you look at it in isolation, it doesn’t make that much sense what happened, but how they got there you can kind of half understand. It’s been a tough one, and they just got found out against a better team in that New Zealand series,” said Alastair Cook.

Injuries to pacer Jofra Archer and all-rounder Ben Stokes have been compounded by rest breaks for the likes of Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Chris Woakes, Moeen Ali, and Mark Wood.

Multi-format players Moeen Ali, Jonny Bairstow, Jos Buttler, Sam Curran, and Chris Woakes were rested for the NZ series after completing a quarantine period following the postponement of the IPL 2021. All-rounder Ben Stokes (fractured finger) and seam bowler Jofra Archer (elbow injury) were not considered for selection for the New Zealand Tests.

Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer
Ben Stokes, Jofra Archer. Photo Credit. Getty Images.

Alastair Cook also said that India will have a hard time beating England in their upcoming five-Test series regardless of the hosts’ poor form.

“It will be a better side with the players coming back against India. They’ll clearly be better balanced which, I think, is a massive issue for them and forced some strange selections against New Zealand, like no spinner on a dry wicket.

“India have shown how good they are at the moment because they’re in the World Test Championship final but, over five Test matches in England, England are hard to beat at home, and I’m expecting a very tight battle,” said Cook.

“India would have been here for a long time as well so could get mentally fatigued by the end of the tour. India will start pretty well but, consistently over five games, to beat England at home is a monumental effort. So I think if England hangs in with India early on, there’s no reason why they can’t win,” he added.

India will tour England for a five-match Test series in August-September 2021.

  1. 4-8 August, 1st Test Match, Trent Bridge
  2. 12-16 August, 2nd Test Match, Lord’s
  3. 25-29 August, 3rd Test Match, Emerald Headingley
  4. 2-6 Sept, 4th Test Match, Kia Oval
  5. 5.10-14 Sept, 5th Test Match, Emirates Old Trafford