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Alastair Cook has a massive responsibility as a captain leading his team on a tour to India but that job will become significantly easier if he gets runs and bats long at the top, says Stephen Brenkley in the Independent on Sunday.
His recent form, however, has been up and down, and more often down than up. Cook can never hope to match his resplendent form in Australia two winters ago, when he made 766 runs in seven innings in England's epic triumph, but he has made only one hundred in his past 22 innings and has been out nine times in single figures.
Whoever goes out to bat with him, Cook will have to assume the lead in every way. He will be responsible not only for scoring the bulk of the runs at the top of the order but also for setting the tempo of the innings.
In the Telegraph on Sunday, Scyld Berry says England may stand a good chance against India's fading batting force, though slow turners could shift the balance the other way.
In the same newspaper, Berry speaks to Graeme Fowler who played a significant role in England's series win over India in India in 1984-85 when all was stacked against them.
The tour of India will mean a lot for Joe Root and Nick Compton, two batsmen possibly in contention for a spot in the playing XI. In the Observer, Andy Wilson tracks Compton's rise on the domestic circuit and the lead-up to an England call-up.
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