Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook (Credits: Twitter)
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Watch: England Great Alastair Cook Gets Clean Bowled By 15-year Old Boy During Club Game

Alastair Cook, one of England’s greatest Test batsmen, was clean bowled by 15-year old Kyran Shackleton during a local club game in England.

Cook is one of the modern day greats. In fact, he is the most prolific left-handed batsman in the history of Test cricket. No other left-handed batsman has managed to score more runs than him in the longest format of the game.

In 2015, Cook became England’s leading run-scorer in Tests, surpassing Graham Gooch’s 20-year-old record of 8,900 runs. He then went on to become the first England batsman to breach the 10,000-run mark in Tests.

Cook brought down curtains on his illustrious career in 2018 after scoring 12,472 runs for England. He also holds the record of captaining England in the most number of Tests (59).

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook (Credits: Twitter)

15-year old dismisses Alastair Cook:

Alastair Cook might be one of the greatest Test batsmen of all time but his record and immense experience mattered little when he was up against Kyran Shackleton. Cook was making his annual appearance for Bedfordshire Farmers CC who were up against Potton Town CC.

It was a 12-over game. Batting first, Potton Town scored 154 for 3. Sean Stevens starred with the bat, smashing an unbeaten 105 to guide his team to a 150-plus total. In reply, Bedfordshire could only manage 128 for 7 in the allotted 12 overs.

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook (Credits: Twitter)

The highlight of the game was Cook’s dismissal. The legendary batsman made a decent start to his innings, smashing 3 fours of his first 14 balls to race away to 20 before being cleaned up by Kyran.

Cook wanted to play a big shot but could not connect with the ball as he saw his furniture getting disturbed. Kyran went on to finish the game as Potton Town’s best performer with the ball, taking 4 for 37 off his 4 overs.

Here is a clip of Alastair Cook’s wicket:

Meanwhile, Cook has been in stunning form in County Championship. Earlier this month, he scored a century in both innings for the first time in his illustrious career to help Essex draw the game versus Yorkshire. The stunning performance made several fans request him to return to international cricket.

World Test Championship, India
Indian test team[photo: Twitter]

If Ever A Team Was Shaped In The Mould Of Their Captain, It Is Virat Kohli’s India Side – Alastair Cook

Former England captain Alastair Cook has lauded Virat Kohli’s captaincy tenure as he opined that Kohli has had a huge influence on the Indian team to make them the top test team of the world.

One day after India’s Test series got over against South Africa, Virat Kohli left everyone in disbelief as he decided to step down from Test captaincy. In his tenure which last more than 7 years, Virat Kohli captained India in 68 test matches as India won 40 of those matches and lost 17 while 11 matches ended in a draw.

“It has been 7 years of hard work, toil, and relentless perseverance every day to take the team in the right direction. I’ve done the job with absolute honesty and left nothing out there.

“Everything has to come to a halt at some stage and for me as Test captain of India, it is now. There have been many ups and also some downs along the journey: but never had there been a lack of effort or a lack of belief,” Kohli released a statement on Twitter.

Alastair Cook agreed with Virat’s statement that the job needs lots of patience and hard work. Writing in his column for The Times, Alastair Cook applauded Kohli’s efforts as captain as he believes that his energy and enthusiasm rubbed to the whole team. Kohli took India to no.1 position in ICC ranking.

Virat Kohli in action during the third day of the WTC final against New Zealand. (File)
Virat Kohli  (File)

Virat Kohli captained India in 68 Test matches

“Kohli, 33, was right: being a Test captain does demand hard work and perseverance; and, yes, he has taken his team in the right direction. India may have lost the World Test Championship final in June but they are ranked No. 1 and so much of that is down to the hard edge he instilled. If ever a team was shaped in the mould of their captain, it is this India side,” Cook wrote.

Coincidentally Cook’s last assignment as England test captain was against India led by Virat Kohli when England faced a 0-4 thrashing in India in 2016. Last year again India beat England by 3-1 at home and in the same year they travelled to England in which India is currently leading by 2-1 as the remaining one test will be played this year in July.

Also, read Alastair Cook Weighs In On Joe Root’s Future As England’s Test Captain

Joe Root. File Photo
Joe Root. File Photo

Alastair Cook Weighs In On Joe Root’s Future As England’s Test Captain

Former England captain Alastair Cook has expressed his opinion regarding Joe Root’s future as captain as he said that Root should give himself some time to think before making any decision either way. Cook also opined that England paid a price for not paying much attention to test cricket in past few years.

On Sunday, the visitors suffered another batting collapse as they bowled out for 124, chasing the target of 271. So Australia retained the Ashes as they took the series by 4-0.

Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter
Ben Stokes, Joe Root ECB Twitter

“Only Joe Root will know if he wants to continue as captain or not, and I respect his decision either way” – Cook

Writing a column for The Times, Cook expressed various thoughts on England’s Ashes campaign. Notable that Joe Root made it quite clear that he would want to continue as captain but Cook believes that those conversations don’t make much significance in the middle of the series.

“In press conferences since the defeat in Melbourne, Joe has said he wants to carry on. But that’s what you have to say while there are still two Tests to play.

“It may well be when he gets home, away from the heat of the international arena, and considers the reset that English red-ball cricket clearly needs, that he decides he too isn’t the right man to usher in a new era. Only Joe will know, and I respect his decision either way,” Cook wrote.

Though Cook isn’t surprised with all the hullabaloo as he said that it’s a normal thing for Australia or England- whoever ends up on the losing side.

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

“Whenever one of the two countries suffers a heavy Ashes defeat, a review inevitably follows – it happened with England in 2007 and 2014 and Australia in 2011,” he stated.

Also, Cook pointed out that Ashes defeat wasn’t a one-off for England as they had a tough year as a test team. England lost their both home series against New Zealand and India. They also lost an away series against India.

“2021 was the year that the neglect of red-ball cricket caught up with England. We got away with it in recent years because we usually won in English conditions and occasionally enjoyed a morale-boosting series victory overseas to paper over the cracks. In 2021, the cracks burst through the paper.

“Take out the series win against a weak Sri Lanka, and you are looking at two wins and nine defeats from 13 (and the two draws could have been losses but for the intervention of rain),” he concluded.

Also read Virat Kohli’s Decision To Quit Test Captaincy Welcomed By Kapil Dev

Australia's Pat Cummins (L) celebrates dismissing England's captain Joe Root for 57 runs during play on the first day of the fifth Ashes cricket Test match between England and Australia at The Oval in London on September 12, 2019. (Photo by Glyn KIRK / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. NO ASSOCIATION WITH DIRECT COMPETITOR OF SPONSOR, PARTNER, OR SUPPLIER OF THE ECB (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)
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“Lack Of Preparation Hurt England In Ashes Opener”, Says Alastair Cook

England started their Ashes campaign last week on a poor note, losing the first Test inside 4 days at Brisbane. Australia dominated the contest right from the very first ball. And going forward with Australia’s record in pink-ball Tests at Adelaide, things ain’t looking too optimistic for them.

However several Ex-players from England cited lack of preparation as one of biggest reason for their heavy thrashing at Gabba. Earlier Michael Atherton made this point, now Alastair Cook made this point in his column for The Times.

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

Alastair Cook Rues Lack Of Preparation Behind England’s Collapse In The First Ashes Test

“This is critical stuff, especially when I think back to 2010-11. Yes, I had one of the most productive series of my life but in the first tour match, I had scores of 5 and 9. I needed those first few innings to get the nerves and anxiety out of the way and my eye back in. When no one in the England team has had that kind of preparation, you end up getting bowled out for 147,”– Alastair Cook wrote this in his column.

Noteworthy that England played just one practice game before the Ashes Opener in which only 29 overs were bowled due to rain. This is the very England team of previous eras. In their famous Ashes winnings campaign in 2010-11, they played 3 warm-up games before the first Test, so was the case in the 2017-18 tour as well.

Alastair Cook gave an example of his own form of how those warm-up games made the difference for him. His progressive scores in those practice games were 5, 9, 32, 111, 60, 2* and the rest of what he did in the Ashes, was history with 766 runs in 7 innings.

"Lack Of Preparation Hurt England In Ashes Opener", Says Alastair Cook 2

Things are going to be more difficult for England as they haven’t had any game time against pink ball. And Australia’s record in day-night tests has been 100% by winning 8 out of 8 games.

Last year they bowled India out for 36 in pink-ball Test and India played a pink-ball practice game before the series. However as James Anderson making comeback in next test, England would have more teeth in their pace attack.  In last Ashes in Australia, he picked a fifer with the pink ball at Adelaide.

Also Read: Ashes 2021-22: Ben Stokes Isn’t A Messiah – Geoffrey Boycott

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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