Wed, 28 Jul 2021

Cook says he feels sorry for Test skipper Root

ANI
22 Jun 2021, 16:03 GMT+10

London [UK], June 22 (ANI): Former England captain Alistair Cook has said he feels sorry for Test skipper Joe Root as he has not had his best players available in the last three series.

His comment comes after England named a full-strength squad for the upcoming T20I and ODI series against Sri Lanka, beginning June 23 at Cardiff.

"Clearly it was disappointing. England have got themselves 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. 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," ESPNcricinfo quoted Cook as saying.

"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.

Further talking about England's performance in Test cricket, Cook said: "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. Those kind of players make 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."England lost the two-match Test series against New Zealand 0-1. The Three Lions suffered a defeat in the second Test by eight wickets. Now, England will lock horns against India in a five-match Test series, beginning this August.

"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 hang in with India early on, there's no reason why they can't win," he added. (ANI)

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