Alastair Cook | Sportzwiki

Alastair Cook

File image of Ian Bell | AFP / Anthony Wallace
File image of Ian Bell | AFP / Anthony Wallace
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Ian Bell Hails Sachin Tendulkar For His ‘Straight Drive’

Ian Bell, one of England’s greatest match-winners in the modern era, said the legendary former Indian batsman Sachin Tendulkar had the best-ever straight drive in the business and he would like his ideal batsman to have that.

The former England batsman selected his ideal 360-batsman with the best shots from some of the greats of the game in the modern era. He is regarded as one of the finest batsmen to have represented England and his records speak volumes of his prowess.

Sachin Tendulkar shows the full face of his bat. (Getty Images)
Sachin Tendulkar shows the full face of his bat. (Getty Images)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ian Bell: A Pleasure To Watch Sachin Tendulkar’s Straight Drive

Ian Bell’s perfect batsman had the best shots of Sachin Tendulkar, Alastair Cook, Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Joe Root, Rohit Sharma, Kevin Pietersen, and himself. Ian Bell, one of England’s greatest match-winners in the modern era, said the legendary Sachin Tendulkar had the best-ever straight drive in the business and he would like his ideal batsman to have that.

“Sachin Tendulkar (for straight drive), the best I saw on the field growing up. A pleasure to watch sometimes, hard to watch when you are on the field and chasing the leather,” Ian Bell said in an ESPNCricinfo video.

Ian Bell
Ian Bell. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

For the cover drive, Ian Bell had to make a tough decision among India captain Virat Kohli and Pakistan skipper Babar Azam but he went ahead with himself.

“Babar Azam like Kohli, has got a lot of time but I’d give it to myself,” he said.

The right-handed batsman Ian Bell had a solid defense and his ability to hit the ball all over the park made him a nemesis for many potent bowling line-ups. Riding on his abilities, Ian Bell tasted success across all formats and took England to numerous wins. In fact, his tally of 13331 runs is the fourth-highest for any England player in international cricket.

Ian Bell: Rohit Sharma’s Pull Shot Or Hook Shot Against Jofra Archer Difficult

The only other Indian batsman’s attribute which Ian Bell would like to have in his perfect batter is of India limited-overs vice-captain Rohit Sharma’s pull shot.

“Watching him (Rohit) against Jofra Archer’s pace this winter. I know you could say it’s a pull shot or hook shot. But I have faced Archer before, that’s not an easy shot,” he said.

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma | AFP

The right-hander, who scored more than 13000 runs for England across three formats, said the ideal 360-batsman should have the cut shot of his former captain Cook.

“Alastair Cook for cross-batted shots, pull and cut. Really hard to bowl at,” he said.

Ian Bell added that he would like his perfect batsman to have the reverse sweep like Ben Stokes and the scoop like Jos Buttler.

“He (Buttler) makes it so easy, like crazy. I have watched him doing practice at nets. Looks silly at times but he’s a genius,” said Bell.

Joe Root’s sweep and Kevin Pietersen‘s six straight down the ground complete Ian Bell’s perfect batsman. At last, the England batsmen talked about the player who smashed the best maximums down the ground. After thinking for a while, the 39-year-old went with his former teammate Kevin Pietersen.

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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
Joe Root
Joe Root Photograph: Sri Lanka Cricket
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Alastair Cook Expresses Sympathy For Joe Root Over England’s Rotation Policy

Alastair Cook has expressed sympathy for Joe Root, his successor as England’s Test captain, over a rotation policy he believes has left the current side “chasing their tail”. Several key players have been deliberately omitted from the eight Tests that England has played so far this year, meaning Joe Root has repeatedly been denied his strongest XI.

The England and Wales Cricket Board have defended the rotation system as a sensible response to the peculiar pressures of prolonged periods amidst the bio-secure bubbles which are now needed for the international game to continue amidst the coronavirus-induced pandemic.

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

Alastair Cook Genuinely Feel Sorry For Joe Root Who’s Been Denied England’s Best Possible XI Due To Controversial Rotation Policy

But with the likes of wicketkeeper-batsman Jos Buttler having missed five Tests in a row, partly also as a result of his Indian Premier League commitments, many have questioned the policy’s implementation, if not the motives behind it amidst accusations it has been skewed in favour of white-ball cricket. England went 1-0 up away to India in February after a victory in Chennai — Jos Buttler’s last Test.

But they lost that series 3-1 and this month their seven-year run without a home Test series defeat ended after New Zealand won a two-match campaign 1-0, with a draw at Lord’s followed by an eight-wicket defeat at Edgbaston. 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.

England batsman Jos Buttler
England batsman Jos Buttler (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

“You have to say it hasn’t worked for Rooty, and I do genuinely feel sorry for him,” said Cook who was taking part in a sponsor’s event on Monday.

“When you’re playing for England, or you’re the captain, coach, or selector, you get judged on end results most of the time and he hasn’t had his best players available. You can’t buy the experience of Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali — that kind of players make a big difference.”

Opening batsman Cook, who retired from international duty in 2018 as England’s all-time leading Test run-scorer, added: “I’ve never had to captain during a pandemic — I didn’t even know what a pandemic was when I was captain — but you’ve got a Test captain who hasn’t been able to play his best side.”

“The decisions don’t seem like they’ve been made correctly. I’ve been on the other side, where you’re trying to make decisions for the right reasons, but you get judged on your results by it, don’t you?”

“It was going so well, winning Test series at home, then Sri Lanka away and 1-0 up against India. Then you rest and rotate players, and ever since that moment on it’s been chasing their tail a little bit.”

But multi-format star Jos Buttler in a separate conference call Monday, said: “I don’t think there are any perfect answers.”

The dashing shot-maker, who played for Lancashire in the T20 Blast, will be back on England duty when Eoin Morgan’s limited-overs side begins a three-match Twenty20 series against Sri Lanka in Cardiff.

He added: “Of course it’s always frustrating to miss games. You wish you were available for everything. But in the current climate with all the complications of Covid etc, I do think we have to look after our people.”

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

Alastair Cook Warned Against Wholesale Changes To England Test XI

Meanwhile, Alastair Cook warned against wholesale changes to an under-performing Test-match top order where Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, Ollie Pope, and Dan Lawrence have all had their positions questioned ahead of an upcoming five-match series at home to India, currently contesting the inaugural World Test Championship final against New Zealand.

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter

Alastair Cook, still playing for Essex, was asked if he had seen any obvious replacements on the county circuit, ahead of England’s bid to regain the Ashes in Australia later this year.

“No, not really, not in terms of someone who is totally ready,” he replied. “These players, I would say, are the best players around. It just seems like when the pressure is on, they haven’t yet found their method yet to be able to respond to that.”

The likes of James Bracey, Joe Denly, Tom Lammonby, Joe Clarke, Will Rhodes, Sam Northeast, James Vince, Gary Ballance and Dawid Malan are in contention for Test recall, debut or more opportunities.

File image of Alastair Cook. Reuters
File image of Alastair Cook. Reuters
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England Batsmen Can’t Handle Pressure Of Test Cricket, Says Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook, England’s legendary opening batsman delivered a stinging rebuke to the current team’s batsmen by saying they “can’t handle” the pressure of Test cricket as they suffered a humiliating Test series loss to New Zealand at Edgbaston on Sunday.

New Zealand won a two-match Test contest 1-0, taking just 11 overs and 52 minutes playing time on the fourth day to complete a convincing eight-wicket win in the second Test after being set a meager target of 38. Tailender Olly Stone was out to the very first ball of Sunday’s fourth day but by then the damage had already been done, with England resuming on their overnight score of 122/9.

Stand-in skipper Tom Latham is congratulated by the injured Kane Williamson // Getty
Stand-in skipper Tom Latham is congratulated by the injured Kane Williamson // Getty

Alastair Cook: England Batsmen Can’t Handle Intensity Of Test Cricket Under Pressure

New Zealand overpowered England by eight wickets in the second Test at Edgbaston on Sunday as they sealed a 1-0 series win with more than a day to spare. That actually represented a recovery after England had subsided to 76/7 in their second innings inside 27 overs on Saturday.

Although current England skipper Joe Root, Alastair Cook’s successor as England captain, boasts an impressive Test average of 48.68, the next best in his side belongs to opener Rory Burns, with 33.23 — a worrying sign ahead of their bid to regain the Ashes in Australia later this year.

Alastair Cook. Pic/AFP
Alastair Cook. Pic/AFP

Meanwhile, the form of batsmen Dom Sibley, Zak Crawley, and Ollie Pope remains a concern, not least to Essex opener Alastair Cook, who retired from Test duty in 2018 as England’s leading scorer with 12,472 runs at an average of 45.35, including 33 hundred. Having only retired in 2018 and while the team contains fresh faces Alastair Cook knows some of the key senior figures better than anyone, including his successor Joe Root.

“From what I’ve seen of this batting line-up when the pressure comes on, the intensity of Test cricket, the scrutiny of it, they can’t handle it,” said Alastair Cook while commentating for BBC Radio’s Test Match Special on Sunday.

“They have quirky techniques, but they’ve scored a lot of runs in county cricket and at times scored Test runs. When the pressure comes, they are not handling the mental pressure that you need to do,” Alastair Cook added.

“It is a massive area of concern for me,” saids Alastair Cook.

New Zealand on Sunday toppled India to become the number one ranked Test team in the world. The Kiwis achieved the feat after defeating England 1-0 in the two-match Test series on Sunday. New Zealand now has 123 points in ICC Team Test Rankings while India has 121 points. Sunday’s defeat, which followed a draw at Lord’s, meant England had lost a home Test series for the first time since a 1-0 reverse against Sri Lanka in 2014.

Joe Root Warns Against Wholesale Changes As He Feels It Would Be The Wrong Time To Panic

But Joe Root, ahead of a five-match Test series at home to India — who face New Zealand in next week’s inaugural World Test Championship final at Southampton, warned against wholesale changes.

“It would be the wrong time to start panicking and rip up all the hard work we have done for such a long period of time,” he said. “Historically we’ve done that going into major tournaments and going into major series and it’s made things even worse.”
He added: “We’ve been outplayed in all three departments and particularly batting.”

England entered this match amid the off-field furore caused by the suspension of Ollie Robinson for historic racist and sexist Twitter posts.

Joe Root, however, insisted: “I don’t think that dripped into the way we played and it would be a bit of an excuse, to be honest.”

Ben Stokes, England all-rounder
Ben Stokes, England all-rounder (Photo | AP)

England, already without the injured all-rounder Ben Stokes and pacer Jofra Archer, rested batsman Jos Buttler, all-rounder Chris Woakes, batsman Jonny Bairstow, and spin all-rounder Moeen Ali from this series after their return from the now-suspended IPL 2021. Rest and rotation, initially a response to the pressures of ‘bubble’ life amid the coronavirus pandemic, has been a feature of England’s selection for more than a year.

England coach Chris Silverwood, now in sole charge of picking the side has repeatedly defended the policy. But England, beaten 3-1 in India earlier this year, appear to be nowhere near good enough to avoid selecting their best-available team.

“That’s out of my hands, to a degree,” said Joe Root. “In terms of having our best XI, I’d like to think that if we are all fit and ready, that will be the case for the five-Test matches against India.”

Zak Crawley is having a poor run as he averaged a mere 8.75 against Sri Lanka, 16.75 against India, and 5.25 against New Zealand in the ongoing Test series, but is still being persisted with.
Dominic Sibley’s average hasn’t been above 35 in any of the series against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, and New Zealand. Joe Root managed only 97 runs averaging a mere 24.25 Dominic Sibley managed 103 runs averaging 34.33. Daniel Lawrence managed 81 runs averaging 40.5. Rory Burns managed 238 runs averaging 59.5.
BRISBANE, AUSTRALIA - NOVEMBER 23: Michael Vaughan of the BBC commentary team laughs as he waits to speak on air before play on day one of the First Test Match of the 2017/18 Ashes Series between Australia and England at The Gabba on November 23, 2017 in Brisbane, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)
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England’s Batting Was Fragile And They Have No Chance In Ashes: Michael Vaughan

Michael Vaughan, former England skipper came down heavily on the Joe Root-captained home team after they lost to New Zealand by eight wickets in the second Test on Sunday, saying the batting was “fragile”.

New Zealand won the two-Test series 1-0 — their first series triumph in England in 22 years. The win also pushed New Zealand back to the number one spot in Test rankings and gave them a boost ahead of the World Test Championship final against India from June 18.

Michael Vaughan
Michael Vaughan

Michael Vaughan: England Can’t Play Ashes With This Fragile Batting Line-up

The first Test between England and New Zealand had ended in a draw while the second was won by the Kiwis as the team reclaimed the top rank in Test rankings. Michael Vaughan, who has played 86 Tests for England, said if the England team continues to underperform, it will have no chance in the Ashes later this year in Australia.

“They now have just five chances to sort the batting out before the Ashes. They can’t arrive in Australia with a batting line-up this fragile. They’d have no chance. This batting line-up is fragile and we have to now start looking at players and wondering if they are good enough because they keep getting out cheaply,” Michael Vaughan said on the BBC Test Match Special.

England and Australia -The Ashes
England and Australia -The Ashes © AFP

Despite winning the Cricket World Cup in July 2019 for the first time, England had also been criticized for its fragile top-order in Tests. The retirement of opener Alastair Cook in August 2018 ensured potential top-order batsmen Rory Burns, Joe Denly, and Jason Roy were able to secure a place in the side. The 2019 series was eventually drawn 2–2, with Australia retaining the Ashes. The 2021 Ashes series is scheduled for December 2021 through January 2022.

Michael Vaughan: Everything Has Gone Downhill For England After They Won The 1st Test Against India In India

England will get a chance to redeem themselves when they take on the Virat Kohli-led India in a five-match Test series in August-September this year.

“England have tinkered too much. Everything has gone downhill for England since they went up 1-0 in India. Don’t muck about with Test cricket. England isn’t a good enough team to muck about,” Michael Vaughan added.

Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley-Twitter
Zak Crawley is having a poor run as he averaged a mere 8.75 against Sri Lanka, 16.75 against India, and 5.25 against New Zealand in the ongoing Test series, but is still being persisted with. Rory Burns, despite his 132 and 81 in the two Tests, averaged a mere 5 against Pakistan and 14.5 against India in the two preceding series. Dom Sibley’s average hasn’t been above 35 in any of the series against Pakistan, Sri Lanka, India, and New Zealand.
England won the first Test by 227 runs, and India won the second Test by 317 runs, to level the series at 1–1. The third Test, a day/night fixture, was completed inside two days, with India winning by ten wickets. The loss meant that England could no longer qualify for the final of the World Test ChampionshipIndia won the fourth and final Test by an innings and 25 runs, taking the series 3–1.
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James Anderson Wasn’t Sure If He Was Good Enough To Play Int’l Cricket

James Anderson is set to be remembered as one of the best fast bowlers of this generation, but the England pacer has revealed he wasn’t sure if he was good enough to play international cricket when he started off in May 2003 against Zimbabwe at the Lord’s.

The 38-year-old James Anderson, already England’s most successful Test bowler with 616 wickets — the most by any pacer in the format — has had the far more physically demanding task of leading the attack.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

James Anderson Thought He Wasn’t Good Enough To Play

James Anderson drew level with retired former captain Alastair Cook’s mark of 161 Tests after playing the 1st Test against the Kiwis.

“I thought I wasn’t good enough. I thought it was a huge step up from county cricket. I remember Nasser [Hussain] didn’t have a fine leg for me and I went for quite a few runs. My first ball was a no-ball as well so there were a lot of nerves there and I did feel like this was maybe a step too far for me at that point,” he said as reported by ESPNcricinfo.

“I think I cleaned up the tail in that game. Until you play against the best players in the world and you’ve got them out, only then do you feel like you can compete and belong there.”

The senior campaigner feels the hurdles that have come in his long career have only made him stronger.

“I’m proud of the fact that I’ve overcome little hurdles throughout my career and they’ve made me stronger,” he said.

Sachin Tendulkar Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images
Sachin Tendulkar. Photograph: Niklas Halle’n/AFP/Getty Images

“The stress fracture was like hitting the re-set button I guess. I’d gone through a lot of changes in my action before that and that stress fracture was probably a Godsend. It made me go back to my old action and since then I’ve felt really comfortable and got more consistent. That’s really helped me and makes me feel proud I got stronger from that and never looked back.”

James Anderson has played 161 Tests and is the 7th most-capped Test player only behind Sachin Tendulkar (200), Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh (168), Jacques Kallis (166), and Shivnarine Chanderpaul and Rahul Dravid (164).

James Anderson And Stuart Broad Looks Back On The 2007-08 Tour

The pacer believes the second Test against New Zealand in Wellington during the 2007-08 tour was one game that deserves a special mention. That is where his partnership with Stuart Broad began.

“We both look back on that Test with great fondness,” he said. “I think it was a proper starting point in our Test careers. The fact that Peter Moores, the coach at that time, showed that confidence in us because he left out two senior bowlers who’d been extremely influential in the England side up until that point.

“He brought us in and gave us that responsibility, showed that faith in us. We still look back on that with great fondness and we’ve enjoyed every minute of it. Hopefully there will be a few more memories to come.”

England's Stuart Broad. (Photo by Jon Super / POOL / AFP)
England’s Stuart Broa. Photo Credit: AFP.

James Anderson admits that his growth from a good bowler to someone who could win games did take some time and it helped after he put in strong performances against the top teams.

“It took a few years. I think it was about putting in some performances against the better sides in the world. No disrespect to Zimbabwe, but playing against teams like South Africa and Australia and India, once you put in performances against the top teams in the world, that’s when you can feel like you can actually perform at that level. So it did take a few years and a few tours around the world to make me think I could actually do it,” he pointed.

Stuart Broad was named England’s vice-captain for the first Test against New Zealand at Lord’s which ended in a draw. Pacer Stuart Broad picked up his first wicket in Test cricket after going 81 overs without it. Stuart Broad picked up the wicket of Tom Latham on Day 5 of the first Test at Lord’s. He picked up his first wicket of the match and first since January 2020 when he got the wicket of Angelo Mathews in Sri Lanka.

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James Anderson Delighted At Prospect Of Equaling England Record For Most Test Appearances

James Anderson has said the prospect of equalling the England record for Test appearances held by Alastair Cook is “mind-blowing”. Considering James Anderson is selected for next week’s series opener against New Zealand at Lord’s, he will draw level with retired former captain Alastair Cook’s mark of 161 Tests.

But while his close friend Alastair Cook spent his international career as an opening Test batsman, the 38-year-old James Anderson, already England’s most successful Test bowler with 614 wickets — the most by any pacer in the format — has had the far more physically demanding task of leading the attack.

James Anderson
James Anderson (AP Photo/Andy Brownbill)

James Anderson Feels Proud To Achieve Aim Of Representing England In 161 Tests Drawing Level With Alastair Cook

And should James Anderson achieve his aim of playing in all seven Tests against New Zealand and India this season, he will be behind just a trio of batsmen — India’s Sachin Tendulkar (200 Tests) and the Australia duo of Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh (both 168) — in the all-time list.

“It does make me feel proud,” Anderson told reporters. “I never imagined in a million years I’d get to this point. Certainly for a bowler to play this amount of games is… I don’t know what the word is… but it’s a bit mind-blowing to me because I don’t feel like I’ve played that many games.”

James Anderson, who appeared with his England teammates in the LV= Insurance launch video “In With Heart” celebrating England’s cricket community, added: “My body doesn’t feel old or tired.”

“I absolutely love Test cricket, I’ve got a huge passion for it. Growing up, that’s all I wanted to do is play Test cricket for England and I’m honoured I’ve been able to do it for this long.”

Former England captain Alastair Cook with pace bowling spearhead James Anderson.
Former England captain Alastair Cook with pace bowling spearhead James Anderson. (Photo Source: Sky Sports)

Equalling Alastair Cook’s match tally at Lord’s would be particularly significant for James Anderson as the ‘home of cricket’ was the venue for his Test debut, against Zimbabwe, 18 years ago.

“Turning up to Lord’s, since I first did it in 2003…the atmosphere around that ground is something you don’t experience anywhere else in the world,” he said.

James Anderson, England fast bowler, and the leading wicket-taker among fast bowlers in the history of the game has said that he has no intention of calling it a day, reiterating his desire to play in the 2022 Ashes in Australia. The fast bowler is set to equal Alastair Cook’s England appearances record with 24th Lord’s Test.

It comes almost exactly 18 years after his first. His record at the ground – 103 wickets at an average of 23.89 with six five-fors – would please most players as full career statistics.

James Anderson Misses Presence Of Fans In Recent Test Series Due To Covid-19

James Anderson is also just eight shy of taking 1,000 first-class wickets, with Andrew Caddick last England quick to achieve the feat in 2005.

“In this day and age I don’t know if it’s possible to get that many first-class wickets anymore, the amount of cricket that’s played, there doesn’t seem to be that longevity in bowlers anymore, and there’s loads of T20 cricket and whatever else is going on around the world,” Anderson said.

But the Lancashire swing bowler said there was more behind his ongoing career than statistical landmarks.

“Putting the hard yards in, that’s when it means the most, putting a shift in for the team,” he said. “I get a lot of pleasure out of it. Bowling 10 overs on a green seamer doesn’t really do it for me. I want to put a shift in for the team when it’s tough.”

James Anderson of England acknowledges the changing rooms after taking his 600th Test wicket
James Anderson of England acknowledges the changing rooms after taking his 600th Test wicket (Getty)

James Anderson, however, is looking forward to having spectators present when he next rewrites cricket’s record books. Covid-19 restrictions meant he took his 600th Test wicket behind closed doors at Southampton last year.

But some 7,000 fans are expected at Lord’s next week, with up to 18,000 allowed in for the second Test against New Zealand at Edgbaston after that match was nominated as a pilot event by the British government.

“It’s going to be pretty special having people there. I’m not sure if soulless is the right word, but it’s just not international cricket without fans there,” Anderson said.

“As players, we get the impression everyone has missed it a fair amount. We’ve missed having fans there and they’ve missed watching us live.”

He is also eight short of a thousand first-class wickets. In the grand sweep of history, that may not seem especially remarkable. He remains more than 3,000 wickets short of Wilfred Rhodes’ first-class tally, after all.

In a career as a left-arm spinner that stretched over three decades, Wilfred Rhodes’ played 17 seasons in which he featured in 35 first-class games or more. James Anderson has never played more than 16 in a season and only played more than 11 on three occasions. He’s never had the chance to bowl on an uncovered wicket, either

Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma
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Rohit Sharma Will Stay For A While As A Test Opener: Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook, former England opener said Indian opener Rohit Sharma is not in the same tier of aggressive Test openers as former Indian swashbuckling opener Virender Sehwag but the Mumbai batsman has the ability to take the game away from oppositions single-handed consistently in the longest format of the game as well like in limited-overs where he has 3 ODI double tons.

Former England opener Alastair Cook has backed Rohit Sharma to have a long run as a Test opener, saying fans and critics love the manner in which he goes about his knocks whenever he gets settled into his innings.

India's Virender Sehwag | AFP / William West
India’s Virender Sehwag | AFP / William West

Alastair Cook: Rohit Sharma Is In The Next Tier Of Aggressive Batsmen After Virender Sehwag

Alaister Cook added Rohit Sharma is dangerous especially in sub-continent conditions, considering his ability to play whirlwind innings with his aggressive approach thereby sealing initiative.

His comments came after the hitman dominated the England bowling attack on the first day of the 2nd Test on a spin-friendly pitch in Chennai. He looked a class apart from the rest batsmen as he played the English spinners Moeen Ali and Jack Leach with ease on a pitch where some of his established teammates like Virat Kohli and Cheteshwar Pujara struggled.

It was difficult to survive on the Chepauk pitch as the pitch was offering turn but Rohit Sharma succeeded by batting aggressively as he scored 161 at a strike rate of close to 70. He hit 18 boundaries and 2 sixes as he was sweeping and driving against spin with ease.

Alastair Cook (Getty Images)
Alastair Cook (Getty Images)

Rohit Sharma’s 7th Test hundred helped India end Day 1 at 300 for 6, seizing the initiative days after losing the first Test by a mammoth 227-run margin. He and Ajinkya Rahane stitched a 162-run stand as they kept the scoreboard moving to help India recover from the quick wickets of Cheteshwar Pujara and Virat Kohli before Lunch.

“He is a little bit more attacking than I was. He is not quite Sehwag in terms of that kind of attack he (Sehwag) is probably is one of the most attacking and successful opening batsmen. Rohit is probably in the next tier of aggressiveness but he looked so controlled. In that innings, he wanted to attack when he wanted, everything looked quite controlled.

“The only obvious issue with Rohit is that line outside the off-stump, the way he got out in the first innings of the 1st Test match. His record away from home isn’t great. That’s where you need to target him but obviously, this pitch doesn’t have that pace,” Alastair Cook told BBC’s Test Match Special Podcast.

“In these conditions, he looked absolutely world-class. His stats in India averaging over 50 shows that.”

Alastair Cook likened Rohit Sharma’s style of batting in Tests to that of Virender Sehwag while pointing out that the former is probably not in the same tier when it comes to attacking nature but can do damage.

Alastair Cook: Rohit Sharma Has Only Just Started Opening And Is Here To Stay For A While

Alaister Cook also noted that Rohit Sharma struggled for consistency initially in his Test career but that he has transformed into a fine batsman after starting to open the innings in the longest format for India as late as 2019.

“… Also, when he has played, he wasn’t that consistent to start with. Also, the Indian selectors make changes if he was English, maybe he would have been given a longer run,” Alastair Cook added.

“He has only just started opening. He has batted a lot in the middle order. Only in the last little bit he has taken his one-day opening role, he has obviously opened a lot in one-day, into the red-ball (format).”

Indian opener Rohit Sharma Image Credit: PTI
Indian opener Rohit Sharma Image Credit: PTI

“He is here to stay for a while. They like having him in the squad and he is in the team for that all-round package — Clearly his runs and the manner he gets his runs, if he gets in, he is going to do what he has done today (more often).”

Rohit Sharma has scored 864 runs as an opener in 13 innings averaging 66.46 and has 4 tons including his career-best score of 212. India has grabbed the initiative by restricting England to 39/4 on the 2nd day before Lunch after scoring 329.

Joe Root,
Photo Credit: Getty Images.
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Joe Root: Tours To Asia Will Be Build Up For Ashes

Joe Root, England’s Test captain has opined that this winter’s tours of Sri Lanka and India will give a good indication of how much England have progressed as a Test team, and also what to expect from the side ahead of next year’s Ashes in Australia.

England will play two Tests in Sri Lanka in January before heading to India, where they will feature in four Tests, three ODIs and five T20Is. It may be recalled that England were the last team to beat India in India in a Test series back in 2012.

Joe Root
Joe Root. Image Credit: Getty Images.

Joe Root: Build Up To Ashes Start With Sri Lanka And India Tours

Joe Root has played 97 Tests, 149 ODIs and he averages 47.99 and 50.1 respectively with the bat. Following the resignation of predecessor Alastair Cook, he was named as his replacement and the full-time Test captain on 13 February 2017 as the 80th captain of England.

However, Team India have improved tremendously since the loss to England in 2012 and been invincible at home since. Joe Root told Sky Sports that twin tours to the two Asian nations will actually be a build-up to the Ashes.

“The build-up (to the Ashes) starts really a year out. I know it’s going to be a huge series for the team and probably for me as a captain. I’m just really excited. I know we’re in a really good place currently. Can we make sure that we are in that same place in a year’s time walking out for that first Test match?,” he wondered.

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook (Image Credit: Google)

The last time England were in Sri Lanka in 2018, the side achieved incredible results, whitewashing the Lankans 3-0 in the Tests and winning the five-match ODI series by 3-1.

England also clinched the one-off T20I to make it a complete performance. Reflecting on the successful Sri Lankan tour, Joe Root added:

“We had great experiences and results last time out in Sri Lanka and that will give a number of players a huge amount of confidence going back there with some great memories.”

As for the Indian challenge, Root said, “Every team finds it a huge challenge to win in India. I think that’s a really good test for where we are at as a team.”

On a personal level, Joe Root hasn’t had a great time with the bat. Since January 2019, he has only two Test centuries to his name, although one of those was a double century at Hamilton almost exactly a year back. He averaged 79.67 against New Zealand in 2019-20.

Joe Root: Haven’t Really Got Returns As Expected

Comparisons with the likes of Steve Smith, Kane Williamson and Virat Kohli have also stopped as he wasn’t getting returns according to expectations.

“I haven’t really got the returns that I would like and would pride myself on but that’s almost a new challenge for me. Can I step my game up again and get to that level that I desire to be at?” Root said.

Joe Root
Joe Root. Twitter

Joe Root has featured in 97 Tests and 149 ODIs for England, scoring 7823 and 5962 runs respectively. He averages nearly 48 in the traditional format and over 50 in ODIs.

Although Joe Root has also played 32 T20Is, he no longer seems to be in the scheme of things for England as far as the shortest format is concerned.

5 Cricketers Who Were Dismissed In The 290s
5 Cricketers Who Were Dismissed In The 290s
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Top 5 Batsmen Who Got Out In 290s

Top 5 Batsmen Who Got Out In 290s. Getting out in the 90’s itself is heartbreaking, but falling in 290s is just an agonising pain for a batsman. For his teammates, he did the job by laying down a solid foundation and putting them in a commanding position but what about not reaching a personal milestone after being so close makes it harder to digest.

Here are 5 players who would not be too happy to find their names on this list.

Top 5 Batsmen Who Got Out In 290s

Ramnaresh Sarwan(291)

Ramnaresh Sarwan
Ramnaresh Sarwan (Photo Credit: Getty Images)

 

During the 2008-09 England vs West Indies series, Sarwan was enjoying the form of his life while scoring 106, 94 and 107 in the first three tests. Coming into the fourth test, West Indies were already 1-0 up and England had to respond which they did stunningly by scoring 600 in their first innings. They started off pretty well with the ball too, removing Gayle cheaply but little did they know about what was waiting for them, what followed after that was a majestic inning from Sarwan.

He forged partnerships with Chanderpaul(70) and Ramdin(166) during his 291 run innings and brought his team’s score close to 600, but heartbreak soon followed when he was bowled by Sidebottom on 291.

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