India in England 2014 July 1, 2014

Shastri wants India to 'go for' Cook

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'Cook should follow Tendulkar by giving up captaincy' - Shastri

Ravi Shastri has said that India should relish the difficult situation England find themselves in heading into the Investec series with their captain, Alastair Cook, under increasing pressure due to a combination of his poor form and further defeats for the team.

Cook has not scored a Test hundred for 24 innings and England will enter the five-match India series, which starts at Trent Bridge next Wednesday, on the back of a 1-0 loss to Sri Lanka. He has faced a barrage of criticism - not least from Shane Warne - and there is now a very vocal debate about whether he should continue as captain.

Shastri, never afraid to back India, wants the visitors to "go for" Cook at the earliest opportunity to try and prevent him gaining a foothold against a side he averages 55.26 when facing.

"If you have the leader under pressure always go for him. You need to get stuck in. You have to make the game as tough as you can," Shastri said at the series launch. "As an India player they will want this debate to continue."

He drew comparisons with India's 1986 tour of England - where they secured the second of their three series victories in country - which began with David Gower under scrutiny as captain; he was then sacked after defeat in the opening Test at Lord's. "With David Gower, all we said was don't let him get runs in the first Test and let the pressure build. He lost the captaincy, India won the series," Shastri said.

He believes that England need to decide whether they want to make the most of Cook as a batsman, saying he "is not a natural captain".

"Cook is mentally very tough. He'll break all records for England," he said. "The question is do you want a captain in Cook who is not playing freely or do you want Cook playing freely as a batsman? That is what happened to Sachin Tendulkar. As captain he felt the pressure was getting to his batting and it was taken away."

Cook's team-mates remain convinced that the captaincy and his lack of runs do not go hand-in-hand although Stuart Broad acknowledged that when a player is struggling for form, light at the end of the tunnel can be difficult to see.

"I don't think the captaincy will cause him too much pressure over a long period of time," Broad said. "When you aren't scoring runs or taking wickets you expect a certain amount of flak, and that won't change until he scores a hundred. Cooky knows that. Winning Tests will help with his captaincy, but even if we are winning and he's not scoring hundreds he'll still be getting a certain amount of stick. He's honest. He's just a score away. But when you are in that hole it does seem a long way away."

When asked if he would be keen for the Test leadership - should the captaincy be taken away from Cook or he decided to give up the role - Broad was reticent and said it was a job better suited to a batsman.

"As a fast bowler I think captaincy is tough in the longer format. I think Test captaincy is more suited to batsmen who can admire the game, get a feel for game and I certainly think Cooky is the right man for the job now."

One of the main criticisms levelled at Cook during the Headingley Test against Sri Lanka was his use of Moeen Ali, especially on the fourth day as Angelo Mathews and Rangana Herath extended their match-winning partnership. Despite removing Kumar Sangakkara and Lahiru Thirimanne on the third evening, Moeen was not given a bowl at Herath - the No. 9 and another left hander - until the partnership was well established and Broad appeared to suggest more faith should be shown in the offspinner.

"I think Mo gets good revs on the ball and will gain a lot of confidence from the hundred [in England's second innings]. We have to throw him ball and let him go. He showed what he can do with the Sangakkara and Thirimanne wickets, that was Swann-like. He has a huge amount of talent.

"In the Sri Lanka series, the Lord's pitch had nothing in it for the spinner, so I can understand him not bowling many overs there but maybe he could have bowled more at Headingley. I think we'll see him bowl more and more during the summer."

Still, the onus will be on England's quicks to do the bulk of the work, which is likely to be an onerous task with five Tests spread over just seven weeks. There has been a suggestion that England's pacemen could be rotated but Broad, who has to manage his ongoing knee problem, prefers another option.

"It's the worst phonecall you can get, that you aren't playing the next game for England," he said. "If India score 400-500 each time the bowlers will be knackered so the ball is in our court. If we bowl them out cheaply we can keep playing."

All eyes, though, will still be on Cook.

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 10, 2014, 22:01 GMT

    This is a slow bore-draw pitch. If the batsmen show patience, the life will be choked out of the game - averaging 5.5 wickets for 250 runs per day at the moment... It'd have to deteriorate sharply to get interesting, and even then the spin options aren't much. It's disappointing, because there's a fair bit of young talent out there in the batting lineups.

    Also, while I understand ripping into the captain is an obvious tactic, but surely we're neglecting old fumble-fingers prior.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 10, 2014, 22:01 GMT

    This is a slow bore-draw pitch. If the batsmen show patience, the life will be choked out of the game - averaging 5.5 wickets for 250 runs per day at the moment... It'd have to deteriorate sharply to get interesting, and even then the spin options aren't much. It's disappointing, because there's a fair bit of young talent out there in the batting lineups.

    Also, while I understand ripping into the captain is an obvious tactic, but surely we're neglecting old fumble-fingers prior.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | July 4, 2014, 9:49 GMT

    We need a Shami/Bhuvi special to win early in the series. Right now our bowlers are not showing those signs. India needs to start strongly as opposed to picking up as the series goes along. I have confidence that the batsman can put up the required fight but can the bowlers?

  • POSTED BY rising_phoenix on | July 4, 2014, 1:21 GMT

    @Saikrishnan - I was actually not expecting Rohit Sharma to make it to the playing 11, provided India goes with 5 bowlers (which seems necessary). The team would be, according to me, - Gambhir, Dhawan/Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane/Sharma, Dhoni, Jadeja/Binny, Shami, Bhuvi, and two out of Aaron, Ishant and Pankaj Singh

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2014, 1:18 GMT

    India will struggle if they dont take 20 wkts someone like Bell, Root can irritate them like Mcullam and Waiting did. They need a Bowler, our batting is ok which we have proved in SA an NZL but bowlers struggled to take wkts in SA so the test match was drawn which india was about to win after giving taregt of 430 above to SA then again in NZL we were in winning position and Mcullam scored a triple ton with Waiitng a 100 and Neshem a 100 too. So this proved our bowling is problem, 5 series is a big series players can come in form. If india can win first 2test or stay ahead in first 2 then they can save the series else Eng players will come back in form and same thing will happen like in SA and NZL. We struggle with bowling only batting is ok.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | July 3, 2014, 21:19 GMT

    M. Shastri, getting Cook out cheaply is only one out of 10 wkt. India has to get 20 wkts. to win. The first 2 matches severely exposed the limitations of the Indian bowling & its lack of ability to get even second division county batting out. India need wkt. taking bowlers, not just names. Let India perform on the field first! Secondly Indian batting has to score more runs than the England batting to win. Indian openers showed inconsistent form. Can the openers give India a good start vs. the experience of Broad, Anderson & Plunkett? Indian middle order depends heavily on this start to build on. Yes, Cook is in poor form. But England has 3 excellent young batsmen in Balance, Robson & Stokes all born abroad - in top form currently. So Dhoni has lot of home work to do in getting these 3 out + Bell, Prior, Root, even if Cook fails. Indian batting & bowling has to do a great job to beat England on their home turf. Pujara, Kohli & Rohit have to click in batting + Seamers take wkts. galore!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 3, 2014, 19:10 GMT

    I think this is a perfect team...... dhawan gambhir pujara kohli rahane dhoni jadeja binny bhuvaneswar pankaj shami........wat do u say guys

  • POSTED BY Nandu_Athadu on | July 3, 2014, 18:38 GMT

    Ravi..the other will be imposed by Indian bowlers. These will take off the pressure from Cook. With Ishant as spearhead and coupled with Dhoni's defensive teactis you cant expected much from the bowling dept. My expectation is English batsmen will score 5-8 hundreds with major runs from Cook and Bell. my only hope is Shami and slight hope of Bhuvi with new ball. If dhoni comes out of his defensive mindset and throws a surprise in form of a pankaj, I doubt India can take 20 wickets. All d best team India

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2014, 16:49 GMT

    @ rising_phoenix If he does get a debut, he will probably replace Rohit Sharma, the only batsman who wasn't successful i SA and NZ, everyone else impressed in both the tours or atleast one of the tours. No way, will he replace Jadeja, how can a medium pacer replace the only spinner ? Its illogical.

  • POSTED BY rising_phoenix on | July 3, 2014, 16:23 GMT

    With Stuart Binny batting so well and providing some important breakthroughs, does anyone think he deserves a place in the side?

    The only person I see he can replace is Jadeja. Yet, Jadeja is most probably going to be the only spinner in the side, and hence can't sit out. What do you guys think?

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 10, 2014, 22:01 GMT

    This is a slow bore-draw pitch. If the batsmen show patience, the life will be choked out of the game - averaging 5.5 wickets for 250 runs per day at the moment... It'd have to deteriorate sharply to get interesting, and even then the spin options aren't much. It's disappointing, because there's a fair bit of young talent out there in the batting lineups.

    Also, while I understand ripping into the captain is an obvious tactic, but surely we're neglecting old fumble-fingers prior.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 10, 2014, 22:01 GMT

    This is a slow bore-draw pitch. If the batsmen show patience, the life will be choked out of the game - averaging 5.5 wickets for 250 runs per day at the moment... It'd have to deteriorate sharply to get interesting, and even then the spin options aren't much. It's disappointing, because there's a fair bit of young talent out there in the batting lineups.

    Also, while I understand ripping into the captain is an obvious tactic, but surely we're neglecting old fumble-fingers prior.

  • POSTED BY Naresh28 on | July 4, 2014, 9:49 GMT

    We need a Shami/Bhuvi special to win early in the series. Right now our bowlers are not showing those signs. India needs to start strongly as opposed to picking up as the series goes along. I have confidence that the batsman can put up the required fight but can the bowlers?

  • POSTED BY rising_phoenix on | July 4, 2014, 1:21 GMT

    @Saikrishnan - I was actually not expecting Rohit Sharma to make it to the playing 11, provided India goes with 5 bowlers (which seems necessary). The team would be, according to me, - Gambhir, Dhawan/Vijay, Pujara, Kohli, Rahane/Sharma, Dhoni, Jadeja/Binny, Shami, Bhuvi, and two out of Aaron, Ishant and Pankaj Singh

  • POSTED BY on | July 4, 2014, 1:18 GMT

    India will struggle if they dont take 20 wkts someone like Bell, Root can irritate them like Mcullam and Waiting did. They need a Bowler, our batting is ok which we have proved in SA an NZL but bowlers struggled to take wkts in SA so the test match was drawn which india was about to win after giving taregt of 430 above to SA then again in NZL we were in winning position and Mcullam scored a triple ton with Waiitng a 100 and Neshem a 100 too. So this proved our bowling is problem, 5 series is a big series players can come in form. If india can win first 2test or stay ahead in first 2 then they can save the series else Eng players will come back in form and same thing will happen like in SA and NZL. We struggle with bowling only batting is ok.

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | July 3, 2014, 21:19 GMT

    M. Shastri, getting Cook out cheaply is only one out of 10 wkt. India has to get 20 wkts. to win. The first 2 matches severely exposed the limitations of the Indian bowling & its lack of ability to get even second division county batting out. India need wkt. taking bowlers, not just names. Let India perform on the field first! Secondly Indian batting has to score more runs than the England batting to win. Indian openers showed inconsistent form. Can the openers give India a good start vs. the experience of Broad, Anderson & Plunkett? Indian middle order depends heavily on this start to build on. Yes, Cook is in poor form. But England has 3 excellent young batsmen in Balance, Robson & Stokes all born abroad - in top form currently. So Dhoni has lot of home work to do in getting these 3 out + Bell, Prior, Root, even if Cook fails. Indian batting & bowling has to do a great job to beat England on their home turf. Pujara, Kohli & Rohit have to click in batting + Seamers take wkts. galore!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 3, 2014, 19:10 GMT

    I think this is a perfect team...... dhawan gambhir pujara kohli rahane dhoni jadeja binny bhuvaneswar pankaj shami........wat do u say guys

  • POSTED BY Nandu_Athadu on | July 3, 2014, 18:38 GMT

    Ravi..the other will be imposed by Indian bowlers. These will take off the pressure from Cook. With Ishant as spearhead and coupled with Dhoni's defensive teactis you cant expected much from the bowling dept. My expectation is English batsmen will score 5-8 hundreds with major runs from Cook and Bell. my only hope is Shami and slight hope of Bhuvi with new ball. If dhoni comes out of his defensive mindset and throws a surprise in form of a pankaj, I doubt India can take 20 wickets. All d best team India

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2014, 16:49 GMT

    @ rising_phoenix If he does get a debut, he will probably replace Rohit Sharma, the only batsman who wasn't successful i SA and NZ, everyone else impressed in both the tours or atleast one of the tours. No way, will he replace Jadeja, how can a medium pacer replace the only spinner ? Its illogical.

  • POSTED BY rising_phoenix on | July 3, 2014, 16:23 GMT

    With Stuart Binny batting so well and providing some important breakthroughs, does anyone think he deserves a place in the side?

    The only person I see he can replace is Jadeja. Yet, Jadeja is most probably going to be the only spinner in the side, and hence can't sit out. What do you guys think?

  • POSTED BY on | July 3, 2014, 11:35 GMT

    India hardly has any penetrative bowling resources to take even twenty English wickets on even wickets that favor fast cum seam bowling but as the saying goes the proof if pudding lies in eating it. The current crop of Indians may , who knows ,start showing magic colors too. Ishant Sharma may have given away runs but has also taken 150 + international test wickets which is no mean achievement .!!!

    Cheers to Indians to put up incredible performances in their current Blighty sojourn.

  • POSTED BY Valavan on | July 3, 2014, 10:53 GMT

    @ArunBose, why should ECB or media react on Shastri's comments. Its the same old saying. Shastri can only say, its the 11 on the field must ploy it. Shastri says off field, and England will do it in field, why should they talk then. India can draw few games with batting. Did you forget India visited OZ in 2011 after they were defeated by NZ, what happened to India then??. Sometimes i do smile that Ishant sharma is spearheading indian bowlers.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | July 3, 2014, 7:35 GMT

    Difficult to tell how a teams performing in these games, its not as if India have played teams of any note, both teams they played are languishing at the bottom of Division 2and haven't set the CC alight in either batting or bowling.

  • POSTED BY Jaishan on | July 3, 2014, 0:42 GMT

    Indian bowlers have a great track record of making the out of form batsman a great hero of the tour. Any batsman who want to come back to form and regain their career, their best bet is to face Indian bowlers. Nathan Astle, Craig Mcmillan, Younis Khan, Ponting are all examples. I'm sure Cook will be england team hero in this tour. For the bowling performance of Ishant, he would not be in any international team other than India. No other indian bowler has been given the no. of chances that we have given to Ishant. It is a big shame that he is the leader of Indian bowling attack. Our selectors have did another big mistake by leaving out Umesh Yadav. England right now is a broken team and Srilankans have proved that they can be beaten in their home ground, but they had bowlers who can do that along with Sanga. Ii give just 20% chance for India to beat England.

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 21:47 GMT

    Cook should realize a lot of this is just off field sledging. Focus on playing your role well. Don't desire anything too much, do what you feel is right and strive to excel in whatever role. Dilshan as captain was unfairly dumped upon in spite of his courageous efforts and leading from the front. He took it philosophically and focused on his batting, succeeding as a player.

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | July 2, 2014, 21:27 GMT

    It is hard to imagine India giving up their habit of helping struggling opposition players get back in form and extend their careers, but they should have no reason to hesitate pushing Cook to the brink since Cook doesnt play in the IPL and thus, there is no need to be "courteous" to him. However, with the kind of bowling and batting they have, it would be a miracle if they can save one Test, and "going for" Cook sounds pretty silly when you keep losing matches.

  • POSTED BY TimeKiller on | July 2, 2014, 18:29 GMT

    Does anyone remember all the furor when Stuart Binny was included in this England tour? People accused Roger Binny of nepotism, even though he excused himself when the name of Stuart Binny came up for discussion. Look at Stuart Binny's performance today and in the Bangladesh ODI. Winning triple crown (3 domestic tournaments) in the same year counts for something. There should have been more Karnataka player's in this tour. Karnataka Ranji team is better than this India test side at the moment.

  • POSTED BY vkumar_086 on | July 2, 2014, 18:10 GMT

    It seems India is not at all facing any problems in batting....Jadeja, Binny also scoring runs in England....but main problem is bowling....India has to do something for this problem....target the players who are not in form....use the conditions to exploit the pitch....Dhoni has a big role here

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 16:51 GMT

    Good thinking by Ravi Shastri....cut the head off the snake and the snake dies. If India attack Cook then him and England may well crumble.

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 16:21 GMT

    Cook has nothing to worry about. Graeme Smith has retired! If Cook is under pressure in the test arena, so is MS Dhoni! Somebody made a valid remark. Should India not be targetting the England openers anyway! Shastri's remark must therefore be made tong in cheek.

  • POSTED BY My-Dear-Watson on | July 2, 2014, 14:38 GMT

    With the current Indian bowling unit, forget it ! Alas, we would not have any choice but to read happy comment by SL, BD and Pak fans day after day and match after match.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | July 2, 2014, 13:23 GMT

    @Selfishkar, I wouldn go that far, it was known that those three batsmen were coming to the end of their careers, just as it is known that Sanga and Jayawedena will surely start to see a decline over the next 2-3 years, and SL will be back to square one looking for replacements.

    Its the nature of the game, a cycle, where teams peak and then fade.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on | July 2, 2014, 13:09 GMT

    @5-0wombats, I'm pretty sure these Aussies are always here and most certainly will be next year when Australia dish out another 5-0 Ashes hiding. We all put up with @FFL carrying on but he disappeared when there was nothing to talk about.

  • POSTED BY Selfishkar on | July 2, 2014, 13:00 GMT

    Sri Lanka is a better Test side than India which had Tendulkar, Dravid and Laxman which thrashed 0-4 in the last tour.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | July 2, 2014, 12:29 GMT

    @dunger.bob: I don't know that I'd agree with England being completely vulnerable. In the test series against Sri Lanka, England had one disastrous day (the 4th day of the second test) which cost them the series. Otherwise, they were on top for the whole of the first test and just couldn't get the last wicket and were on top for the better part of the second test and came within 2 balls of saving it, even after that catastrophic 4th day.

    The encouraging part for England was how well the new boys played. Centuries for Ballance, Robson and Moeen, who had one test between them before the series started and a double for Root, who is still the youngest member of the side. 5 wickets for Jordan (who also batted well) in the first test and 9 for Plunkett in the second. I think that's not too bad for a young side.

    The problems (no test-class spinner and Cook's form/captaincy) must be addressed, but England didn't look a side without any fight, which would have been worrying.

  • POSTED BY IndianInnerEdge on | July 2, 2014, 12:08 GMT

    If ever a headline was to get eyeballs and fingers on keyboards, this was it......yeah, RS is right in suggesting that India should keep up the pressure on AC, the question is.....the Massive big Elephant on the planet question is do india have the firepower to take 20 wickets in one single test....I seriously think this series is going to be AC's redemption and he gonna make runs by the bucketful.....and i do agree i he is not a 'natural' captain or a tactician, he is at a loss when the going gets tough

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 10:31 GMT

    What a lame excuse by Broad, what has "standing at slip and admiring the game" got to do with captaincy. By the looks of it Broad wants Cook to continue under pressure against a tough opposition so that it will be the nail in the coffin for Cook from a captaincy point of view. On the other hand Broad is not the kind of cricketer who could handle such baptism of fire.

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 10:08 GMT

    @Biggus The world series of cricket, 2008 CB series, Laxman Sivaramakrishnan, Praveen Kumar, Harbhajan Singh and Sachin Tendulkar say HI. How ignorent can you Australians be. Keep your nose up in the clouds...if you havent noticed the last time you lot won a big ICC tournament was...hmm was it 7-8 years now????

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | July 2, 2014, 10:07 GMT

    @Biggus, I think most serious cricket viewers recognise that Australia under Lemann Is a lot different to the one under Mickey Arthur. There are a few concerns with the age of a couple of players, with a couple on the horizon.

    In regards to India vs England both teams are pretty much In rebuild mode, the concern for india is the lack of seam bowling depth. for England its the lack of experience against spin, cook and the lack of a full time spinner attacking spinner

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | July 2, 2014, 10:05 GMT

    @Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on (July 2, 2014, 9:22 GMT) you need to read what @Dunger.bob actually wrote - then you will find that retaliation was quite in order. It looks to me as if certain Aus fans (like you) are no better than certain India ones - i.e they come here and gloat when they think they have something to crow about. And btw - Arthur didn't even get as far as the first test V England last year. England didn't even have to play Australia in order to claim that particular coach - so I would pipe down about claiming coaches. A year ago Aus were a rabble. Six months is along time in cricket - a year even longer - so, see you next year bud....

  • POSTED BY latecut_04 on | July 2, 2014, 10:02 GMT

    @5Wombats-- trouncing the rival 5-0 with all the matches finishing in 4 days,getting the most 'feard'opposition bowlr to retreat and retire in the middle of the series to protect his career average,making the opposition captain look clueless both with the bat and while leading,making the 'maverick' batsman in the opposition get dropped because he was the 'cause' for series defeat...all these constitute a 'decent' Ashes..Lol..your comment has made my day. Ridiculous underestimation...

  • POSTED BY Biggus on | July 2, 2014, 9:41 GMT

    @Arun Bose:- IF you actually knew anything about cricket you wouldn't be accusing someone with the screen name of 'Djardine' of being an Australian. Have a think...............OK I guess I'll have to tell you:- Djardine-> Douglas Jardine-> English captain for the 'Bodyline' series, get it? Obviously our 'Djardine' is English. As for India Vs Australia, we'll take you seriously when you can win a series down here, and despite your arrogance vis-a-vis England they've done that quite a lot. We've won several series in India of course, so we have little to prove to a nation of over a billion souls that has NEVER won a series down here.

  • POSTED BY pandian_ikku on | July 2, 2014, 9:27 GMT

    @Die_Hard_Indian_Cricket_Lover, Seriously do you think Virat is going to score 300+ in England soil? If he do that I bet I will never ever watch cricket again. I am 1000% sure about that. Lets see the IPL form of Ghambhir in real matches.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on | July 2, 2014, 9:22 GMT

    @5wombats, lol! Australia are number one and we flogged England 5-0, claiming several careers and a coach in the process. You want to talk about a 'fog of rubble'? How about the one England are in now? We then went on to smash South Africa on their home turf. @Dunger.Bob is a gentleman commenter here and seldom misses the mark. 5-0 nil is only a 'decent' Ashes? Well at least we have been decent in recent years then. Shastri is right even if stating the obvious, this is the perfect time for a young Indian side to pounce on a side in turmoil with a captain on very shaky ground.

  • POSTED BY Indian_Kari_Pakku on | July 2, 2014, 9:20 GMT

    Unwanted comment from Shastri. All the fans talk about weakness of the bowlers. No one comments about the strength of our batting. India will easily pass 500+ scores in every test matches. This time Kohli will score a 300+ and couple of 200+. Gambir also in superb form after IPL.

    If we win the toss then bat first and score 600+ score. With the pressure England won't be able to score 300+ even with our weak bowling attack. I expect India will easily win the matches by a large margin. Perhaps by a inning and some runs.

    God Bless India!!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 9:19 GMT

    i don't agree with mr shastri cook should continue captaining england.he wan the test series in India.according to me dhoni should quit captaincy

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | July 2, 2014, 9:17 GMT

    No wonder India backing up cook. As long as cook is there, they got a good chance to win the series.

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | July 2, 2014, 9:02 GMT

    @Arun Bose, I'm no lover of the aussie cricket team, but their current side under Lehmann is markedly different to the one under the Mickey Arthur, for one its united, and don't get Detention if the miss a homework assignment.

  • POSTED BY pandian_ikku on | July 2, 2014, 9:00 GMT

    Whether Cook scores or not one thing is sure that India won't win the test series with their poor bowling attack.

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 8:57 GMT

    @DJardine Its ok mate...I dont really mind getting whitewashed away if I can return the favor at home. What was the most recent scoreline again when India played Aus in tests??? Once you pay us back and snatch the Border-Gavaskar away...then open your mouth

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    they couldnt beat New Zealand....expect nothing more in England. 0-2 or 0-3 shpuld keep both the teams happy.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 2, 2014, 8:43 GMT

    @Djardine- If you're an aussie then you must remember the drubbing that aussies received last time they toured India, This vaunted Indian spin attack made you dance to their tunes, Clarke was picked up by Jaddu five times..FIVE TIMES! 4-0 BROWNWASH, The worst defeat for Aussies in over 40 years! In 2010 A two-zero BROWNWASH! Aussies come again to India, We love to beat the hell out of you.. Hahaha..

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    Shastri is dead on target. Cook is the weakest link in the chain. Attack it. I am reminded of the proverbial last straw on the Camels back.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | July 2, 2014, 8:31 GMT

    Good to see the India fans being realistic about their chances. And as for the Aussies like @Dunger.bob - it was only 12 months ago that Australia had seldom been riper for the plucking. Their entire self belief system had been undermined to the point where a gentle tap sent it all crashing down in a fog of rubble. And 3-0 to England was the result. -> so, I'd be keeping quiet if I were you @Dunger.Bob. One bowler and one decent Ashes doesn't make Aus a good side.....

  • POSTED BY YorkshirePudding on | July 2, 2014, 8:28 GMT

    I don see the problem with this, with the caveat that those that dish it out accept they will get it in return, and that the Indian media don't blow it up out of proportion.

    @dunger.bob, I wouldnt call the SL series a roll over they escaped at Lords by 1 wicket, and England were 2 balls shy of holding off the SL bowlers at Headingly.

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 8:25 GMT

    The 1986 team had some stalwarts like Kapil supported by Binny Maninder and Shastri The batters were Vengsarkar Gavaskar and Azhar Now this Indian team has to get England out twice and with the current lot of pace and spin bowlers one sees no possibility Ishant Sharma has been pathetic in the opening games and the rest are inexperienced The spin department is bare Dhoni as captain in a 5 day Test has been wanting Barring a poor England performance it will be a task for the Indians to save a Test let alone win it

  • POSTED BY satanswish on | July 2, 2014, 8:16 GMT

    Indian bowlers should be cooked a lot for sure....Either draws or England winning the series ...no other result possible

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 2, 2014, 8:11 GMT

    Have you noticed that not even a single former England player has reacted to this statement of Ravi Shastri not even the dreaded English media because they know the gravity of the situation for England cricket better than all these cricket pundits here.. They know one loss and it will all come crashing down for them, Go ahead take India lightly..Indian team thrives when not even Indians believe in them and then fall on your face flat after this series gets over.. Bash Indian bowlers all you want but after this series prepare to praise them.. We don't need support of those Indians who just supports for the sake of it or when India wins and then bash them when they lose.. True fans never bash their team no matter what, They just support just like a loyal soldier, Even if we get beat we prepare for the next fight, We don't bow down to anyone cause we are soldiers of our team.. Win, lose, draw whatever our loyalty for our team never dies..The perfect revenge will be ours.. IND 4-0 ENG..

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 8:03 GMT

    Team IND will give COOK and his team all the upliftment required by their conventional 2nd rated poor display of both batting and bowling.

  • POSTED BY muzika_tchaikovskogo on | July 2, 2014, 8:02 GMT

    Wildly optimistic from Shastri. With the ultra-defensive fields Dhoni usually sets, I'm not sure how he expects the bowlers to target Cook.

  • POSTED BY ramli on | July 2, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    Well ... very easy to tell that ... no harm in trying, but where are the bowlers? Already MSD has had a try at bowling in the match against Derbyshire ... that is the reality ... may be Ravi Shastri can tell Cook to target India for his come-back ...

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 7:55 GMT

    Still I feel this will the biggest challenge for this young Indian Team, only after that will know that this Team could be capable to regain no 1 spot in ranking or not. yet these boys dont know how to win in abroad. I am not expecting so much, If Indai win only 1 tet match or draw the series It would be big aheivement . They will learn lot of things & when they will return again in england that time could be possible they will be contendar to win series in england. But if they win this time that means next 1o years India will rule in Test cricket. We have some exciting talent: Pujara, Kohli, Dhawan, Rohit , Rahane, Bhuve, Aaron, Shami, Pandey & Jadeja......I think they are metally tough than our previous team

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 2, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    @Chandraprince- First win a test match in India and then talk..SL was pure lucky to win that series.. Can't even win a test match in a sub-continent nation where as India wins in SL all the time.. Ponder over this now.. First beat India in India in a test match and then boast..

  • POSTED BY DJardine on | July 2, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    It will be a slaughter. ...... just like the last time. And this time no Dravid to at least save the face. The likes of Kohli, Dhoni, Dhawan, will fall like leaves in autumn. And the much vaunted Indian spin attack will be dispatched to the abyss of time. And this is from an Aussie.

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 7:51 GMT

    Needless comment from Ravi Shastri! Indian bowling is raw / inexperienced and can swing between brilliant to pathetic. Cook will be hoping it will be the latter - that has helped revive many a careers!

  • POSTED BY Longmemory on | July 2, 2014, 7:29 GMT

    Ravi Shastri is trying to do for India what guys like Ian Chappell and Shane Warne do for the Aussies on the eve of a tour - target the opposing captain and start playing some mind games. Shastri's problem however is that our bowling attack looks very unlikely to target the stumps let alone the opposing skipper. Any way, in a week or two, the gig will be up and our bowling (and batting for that matter) will be ruthlessly exposed for what it is - second rate.

  • POSTED BY Darkmanx12155 on | July 2, 2014, 7:21 GMT

    @ Arun Bose Join the club mate! you are a true fan of the indian team. these warm up games are not important. bowlers like ishant and buvi needs to preserve their energy for 5 tests in 7 weeks. thats why they don't bowl yokers and pitch it up regularly. It takes a lot of energy to do that. these guys are smart. when the actual game starts, they will use their ability to swing the ball both ways by pitching it up to the batsman. ishant and buvi will be unplayable then. Let the englishmen prepare green tops. england batsman will have to work really had to score against ishant and co.

  • POSTED BY dunger.bob on | July 2, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    I can't see anything wrong with targeting a shaky player, especially if he happens to be the captain. All the more reason to get on his case actually.

    I see that heaps of Indian posters don't think much of their chances. .. Why? The Sri Lankans just rolled them over for the first time in England so obviously the Pom's will be a bit disturbed about that. It's one thing to get handed your own backside by the Aussies in Aus but it's entirely different to start losing at home. .. Make no mistake, England have seldom been riper for the plucking. Their entire self belief system has been undermined to the point where a gentle tap could send it all crashing down in a fog of rubble. My advice to India. Take advantage of it if you can. England is rarely this vulnerable. Pick way at their confidence, it's paper thin I suspect.

  • POSTED BY Darkmanx12155 on | July 2, 2014, 7:13 GMT

    Also it isn't wise to take cook lightly. he is a good batsman. has scored many runs against all top teams. problem is he is holding on to the captaincy. he is not a natural leader like dhoni. (then again, who else in the world is as great as dhoni? no one!). if cook give up his captaincy, he will be able to do a lot to the england team with his batting and even score 70+ test centuries in the next 10 years!

  • POSTED BY IndiaNeedsBowlers on | July 2, 2014, 7:11 GMT

    Ravi Shastri excellent suggestion. And it is obvious isn't it that Cook hasn't been getting runs. But here's a bigger question - Who is going to get him OUT. I am sorry, but the only Indian who would have relished a situation like this (bowling against a left hander, who isn't sure about his feet movement) is Zaheer Khan and well he is injured and passed his prime. Looking at the Indian bowling in the practice matches, I think this is going to be the comeback series for Cook and all the out of Form English batsmen. I wouldn't be surprised if they score heavily. I can only hope, that maybe the Test match intensity would push Indian bowlers - Bhuvi and Shami to bowl better first spells and get wickets. I have lost all hopes for Ishant Sharma, but I am sure he will play, will he perform I don't think so... I can't see Jadeja getting too many wickets either. And I don't think Dhoni has the insight or courage to play 4 fast bowlers. So can't see India taking 20 wickets. Hope I am wrong.

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    Shastry, can you please tell us, who will 'cook' the English goose? On second thoughts, the only guy who can perhaps do that is Bhuvi; but not by 'going after Cook', but through full length & away swingers, with an occasional ones swinging back in.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 2, 2014, 7:06 GMT

    if India need Dhoni to bowl against Derbyshire's non-international batting line up, then he will definitely will need to bowl against the likes of Robson, Bell, Root and more therefore India will get dominated and Cook will just be swimming in runs

  • POSTED BY Darkmanx12155 on | July 2, 2014, 7:04 GMT

    All you haters out there will worship Ishanth after the 5 tests. Ishanth is the best bet we have right now people. He is bad in sub continent, no doubt. but in helping conditions like Australia, NZ, SA, england, he is lethal with his swing and bounce at high speeds. Buvi is good in india only. Pankaj Singh will do well if he gets picked. Shami is good too. Go Ishanth, show these haters what u got. Funny how people can forget your match winning performances so soon. I sure hope you bring us glory and show what u can do in helping conditions. All these pundits seems to forget that its ONLY you who picked up 2 wickets in the previous practice game. mark my words! ishant is the next Wasim Akram in world cricket! he is just 25. He has 164 wickets already under his belt. tell me ONE fast bowler who has 150+ test wickets at the age of 25 today??? NO ONE!!! DONT QUESTION his bowling powers people!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 6:51 GMT

    Indian bowlers will perform well considering the fact that they are not expected to do well. On the contrary, England who is woefully out of form at the moment, may do well and Cook may also be in the runs. Whatever it is negative opinions have to take a back seat until the 1st test is on the way. Pujara, Kohli, and Rohit may score runs and all the team need is for the bowlers to back up the batting display. England can crumble under pressure and who knows Aswin may be the match winner. Our team needs the support of our fans and the Indians have to stop being negative about how the team will perform in overseas condition. I have a gut feeling that this team will do well an score a series win against England. I predict a 3-1 win for India and one test to be drawn. Let us see

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 2, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    @Raj sundaraman- I will be waiting for you after this series gets over, I am sure you will never come back again.. Anyways, If you're an Indian try to support India.. If you can't then shut the hell up!

  • POSTED BY SwamyCricketAnanda on | July 2, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    Shastri has made a very shrewd observation, and I am sure Dhoni being a far better captain than Cook, will look to intimidate the latter. But the ECB seem to have made up their minds about excluding KP for ever, and retaining Cook for the foreseeable future as captain.

    Still, I feel India will win the series comfortably at 3-0 and England will play out a couple draws with help from the rain Gods.

  • POSTED BY Front-Foot-Lunge-Needs-A-Hug on | July 2, 2014, 6:46 GMT

    Good advice and I'm sure India will go hard at Cook and do their bit to end his captaincy. There's a few question marks over the Indian bowling and that may help Cook though many claimed Sri Lanka had a county attack and they left with all the trophies this summer. I think there are plenty of questions about the English bowlers as well and they are carrying so many players out of form. Will be interesting to see but nothing can paper over the fact Cook is not the right person to captain England and never will be despite having the goods previously as a batsman.

  • POSTED BY mayuresh11 on | July 2, 2014, 6:45 GMT

    i think this would be the last series for ishant saharma if he does not perform ... so i think he will give his best in the match with england

    but i think he should be drop for 1 -2 test match

    my playing 11 would be gambhir pujara rahane koli dhoni rohit binny ashwin/jadeja aron shami & ishwar pandey

    b.kumar bowls at the same pace what binny bowls so i had gone for i panday so what this team llooks like..

    pujara will play like dravid and sees the new ball so that will help lower order rohit has a temperament according to me to play like laxman with ta lender

    whats your view?

  • POSTED BY ChandraPrince on | July 2, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    This sort of talk is ungracious at best─ unworthy of India's cricketing spirit. England's skipper might have vulnerabilities, but I don't think India is capable of duplicating Australia or Sri Lanka's performance. Talk is cheap─ and talk like this is worthless...

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 2, 2014, 6:43 GMT

    Can't believe all the negative chat with Indians about their own team? Seriously do you actually like cricket or even follow the team as what sort of fan are you? Get behind your team and back them as this is your best chance to beat England well in a series in England as may never come round like this again!

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 6:42 GMT

    Shastri might be a good commentator but his advises and tactics wont work out. Ishant sharma alone can bring back cook to form. Such an over rated cricketer.

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 6:34 GMT

    Arun Bose: why stop at 4-0? This is a 5 test series! While you are dreaming, make it bigger, 5-0! Yeah, right!!

  • POSTED BY anupkeni on | July 2, 2014, 6:31 GMT

    Alastair Cook is just an Ishant Sharma and a Ravichandran Ashwin away from the kind of form he had shown I the test series when England toured India in the winter of 2012, where he scored 3 consecutive centuries in Ahmedabad, Mumbai, Kolkata and had truly dominated the Indian bowling attack in subcontinent conditions. England has now won 6 of the last 8 test matches they have played against India and Alastair Cook has played a major part in 4 of those 6 wins. Things are unlikely to change for England and India this summer unless the young and inexperienced Indian batting line-up stands up to the four pronged English pace attack.

  • POSTED BY rashivkd on | July 2, 2014, 6:29 GMT

    I think Shastri is spot on! England is in complete dilemma this time around that, they are not sure about their batting to prepare a green track, as they don't have that dominating batting line-up. And Prior and Cook are not in form as well. But they can't prepare the flat track as well, because Indians will bat well in flat tracks and in fourth innings, Indian spinners can be a threat to Eng Batters.

    Though, I think, they will prepare green tracks as they have good bowling line up.

    England is not at all well placed as last time, so it is the right time to attack on and off the pitch to their Captain, and make sure they will not get a good start of the series.

    IMO, If Indian batters can match Eng bowlers, it will be a good context.

    Good luck team India.

  • POSTED BY shanepe2003 on | July 2, 2014, 6:27 GMT

    After getting white wash from England isn't It high time to have another bilateral series with our favourite nabour Sri Lanka looking at the way Sri Lanka playing even I doubt we can beat SL? Wonder where's channi fans who appose for SL? Did we had enough bashing from other countries or we just want little bit more bashing left to Rcv ?...

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | July 2, 2014, 6:21 GMT

    Cook england captain facing problems after deaft vs australia and srilanka. Dis is the wright time to bat freely vs india,cook scored 3 tons vs india in india unbelievable batting as a captain. Indian bowling slightly better. As great Akram said umesh yadav is far better in indian bowing he can bowl fast swing. Hiding iplas well. Cook can stand up in dis series .

  • POSTED BY Humdingers on | July 2, 2014, 6:13 GMT

    A little hard to "go for Cook" after the captain and coach have already expressed their sympathy and support for him isn't it?

  • POSTED BY bsinghvi on | July 2, 2014, 6:12 GMT

    Its good to see Mr. Shastri saying it out because it will be fun to see him eat his own words. Last time he said to Nasir Hussain - "... England has never been bloody number 1 ...", England went on to become the best test side in the world. Indians have always been very generous. They have lifted countless number of batsmen out of poor form into their prime. Indians have failed to pick wickets in helping conditions because of lack of pace and bounce which is the primary reason why batsmen are able to sustain and flourish against Indian bowling attack. The batsmen are used to playing in the conditions where pitches are flat and runs are easy to score. Poor batting skills combined with extremely poor bowling attack, I see no reason why this series would be any different. This is the best opportunity for Cook (even the law of average is in his favor now) to lead from the front and shut the critics up in style.

  • POSTED BY srini701 on | July 2, 2014, 5:56 GMT

    With THIS Bowling Line up? You have to be kidding, Mr Shastri! India will be lucky to bowl even this current England side out twice in a Test the whole summer. Cook or no Cook, we just don't have the bowlers who can win us Tests away. With a bowling "captain" like Ishant who the whole world except Dhoni knows is hopeless, we dont have a ghost of a chance. And India is anyway famous for resurrecting and bringing out of form batsmen into form!

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 2, 2014, 5:46 GMT

    I don't understand the reason for so much negative criticism, The series hasn't started yet and already you guys are bashing Indian bowlers? What if these bowlers knock off England? Where would you hide your face then? I believe in my team no matter what, I am not a non-believer who only supports my team when they are winning like some of my compatriots here..Win and loss is an integral part of any sport, India lost some series abroad but every team face that..They might start winning now.. Can you guarantee that India will not win? If you do that then I am sure you know nothing abt cricket..India has done unpredictable things in the past and they will do it again..Remember when ppl said Ind has no chance of winning CT 2013? What happened next? I am sure once this Indian team creates history by beating England 4-0..All these cricket pundits will runaway back to their holes.. No one will congratulate India, They just know how to criticise, Don't have courage to congratulate.. Pathetic..

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 5:42 GMT

    All Cook's been waiting for and needed was some Indian bowlers to bowl at him to regain his form back. I will mighty thrilled if the Indians do win a test or more in England, while they have a good chance with the bat, I am least hopeful of Indians' bowling resources.. there are no spirited performances to boast about.. I hope they can prove me wrong and keep it tight else it would be very hard to follow this series.. cannot afford another heart breaking series overseas!!

  • POSTED BY BradmanBestEver on | July 2, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    I guess if they 'go' for Cook they are not going to 'go' for anyone else?

  • POSTED BY rajuramki on | July 2, 2014, 5:40 GMT

    Cook must be itching to face bowlers like Ishant and company to get back into form . In any case , Cook will find it more and more difficult to score consistently , which he was able to do in the past , although on England pitches. India's bowling is so weak that England may not find it difficult to handle them on conditions which are very familiar to them . It is upto the Indian batsmen to return unscathed from the tour .It will be a great surprise if India manages to upstage England on this tour with such an impotent bowling attack .

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 5:37 GMT

    Bombastic talks don't produce results. Right decisions and giving your best do.

    If Dhoni wants positive results, he should choose the playing XI, absolutely on merits, keeping aside all personal preferences.

    For example: If Ashwin is ineffective on a particular pitch, bench him. If Ishant continues his wayward ways (at least, if he was getting wickets, I would have risked his profligacy), bench him. If any of of front-line batsmen is struggling to read the swing (more than the line & length), bench him. If Saha is negotiating the English conditions well as a batsman, take him as the wicket-keeper-batsman (he keeps wicket better than Dhoni, anyway), and Dhoni play as a batsman (of course as captain too).... and, so on...

    Praying that the tour-selectors be blessed with the courage and fairness to make the "right judgments". Hope Dravid is consulted, and he also shows courage to express his views impartially... for the welfare of Team India.

  • POSTED BY King-Cobra on | July 2, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    Maybe this will be the last test series for the likes of vijay, I.sharma, dhoni, jadeja, ashwin. Am I missing anyone? R.sharma and Dhawan too maybe?

  • POSTED BY artificial.intelligence on | July 2, 2014, 5:17 GMT

    why is mohit sharma not in the test squad...he is an exceptional test bowler

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 5:17 GMT

    Go for Cook?? with so many world class bowlers in one team, and Mr Short, Wide and extremely UNLUCKY being our bowling captain and other overrated bowlers... Yeah sure, Why not :P...

  • POSTED BY social_monster09 on | July 2, 2014, 5:07 GMT

    I think that this comment on Cook is just a part of mind game nothing more than that a strategy becoz Cook is in sever pressure right now. Pressure of captaincy, pressure to win series at home, pressure to make runs (much needed) & of course pressure of his critics who ever don't want him in the team right now. I think he is in position whether he will break down or he will make this series one sided. Playing mind games is not the strategic part of Indians this is licensed to Aussies only hahaha…Cook is a good batsman not great but he will surely find his lost form against this Indian attack as we all see Indian bowler's in yesterday's practice game & 1st practice match. God saves them..

  • POSTED BY Realistic_cri_fan on | July 2, 2014, 4:51 GMT

    Congratulations to Ishant sharma(The leader) and co. to restrict Cook.Even a 5yr old boy will say that this attack is toothless.B.kumar and pandey are the only decent bowlers imo.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 2, 2014, 4:15 GMT

    All I want from this indian team is to prevent yet another whitewash against the poms. I know there is an endless debate on india's bowling bt what abt batting in seaming conditions? May god's bless team india nd rain happens to atleast draw 1 test. If they could win even a single match it would be something next to miracle of this decade for sure. But in limited overs it will be 60-40 issue in favour of english team.plz tem india atleast have a draw in match and dont loose 5-0 .

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 2, 2014, 4:14 GMT

    India's gonna get screwed big time! It's high time they change their bowling attack! This might as well be the much awaited comeback series for England! After all the frustration since ashes, we might be in for an exciting destruction of the Indian bowling attack! #TheBigTest.

  • POSTED BY Haiderpakawsome on | July 2, 2014, 3:51 GMT

    Mr Shastri, That was a good joke. Forget about Cook, even an out of form English Street Cricketer would dream, if he could get to bat against Ishant Sharma's bowling so he could be back in his peak form. Do you really think that with these bunch of bowlers you can really target one of the best batsman of the present time ? Cook is not currently in his bes form though, but remember form is only temporary. He has techniqe which can bring back his form once he finds the rhythem.

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 3:41 GMT

    Well ... I hate to say that but if Cook can't find his form against India, I am afraid, he won't be able to do that against anyone else. For India, it has to be 20 wickets not just one off.... It is fair to say that England lost the series against Sri Lanka mainly due to Cook's captaincy... Sri Lanka only played well enough to draw the series.

    For India, they will play Moin Ali far better that Sri Lankans, so India should look to bat first and score big, that will alone put the desired pressure on Cook.

    I guess the pitch will be as flat as Cook's captaincy for the first test at least.

    All the best India.

  • POSTED BY cricket_lover1 on | July 2, 2014, 3:21 GMT

    Indian pace bowlers have to bowl THE RIGHT LINE & LENGTH. What is that?

  • POSTED BY Greatest_Game on | July 2, 2014, 3:16 GMT

    It is a great plan, but will require some actual international test quality bowlers to implement. Without attacking, challenging bowling that will genuinely trouble Cook, this is not a plan, it is a fantasy. From what we have seen so far in the county games, India's current bowling is anything and everything else but challenging.

    However, @ cloudless does point out the silver lining of such a plan succeeding, when he politely asks "Ravi, if your nation could also take out Moores this summer, that would be gratefully received by many English cricket fans."

  • POSTED BY cricket_ahan on | July 2, 2014, 3:15 GMT

    It's important the Indians don't get carried away with this message. There are some, who despite having good intentions, may attack too much and eventually play into Cook's hands. The key for mine is steady pressure - Cook seems to be getting himself out when you bowl the right line and a nagging length. What should help the cause though, and is something this new look Indian team seem to do more than those of yesteryear, is probing the batsmen with banter from the slip cordon and around the bat. Say what you will about his ability, but Cook doesn't appear to handle criticism well, and the Indians would do well to keep attacking it, both with the ball and verbally. From Cook's perspective, this is his best (and possibly last) chance to get some runs again, especially if India play Ishant Sharma in their starting XI.

  • POSTED BY Srivatzan on | July 2, 2014, 3:08 GMT

    When I look back at the Perth test in which Ishant bowled a fiery spell against Ponting & co. I thought we found a great Indian fast bowler only to be proved wrong on countless occasions. I regret the Perth test match. I regret supporting Ishant. Every captain would have his favorites, like Saurav supporting Agarkar, Sachin supporting Kambli (although Kambli disagrees :) ), but Dhoni has to sacrifice his nepotistic attitude and give other bowlers an opportunity. A bowler like him in Australia would not even have played sheffield.

    Shastri is spot on, India historically in cricket has this benevolent nature of bringing back a batsman to form when he is down and out. Jayasurya, Andy Flower, Hayden, Chanderpaul, Anwar, the list goes on..We need to get Cook out early. Cook will feast on Ishant and he will be licking his fingers already. Beware India and all the best.

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 3:05 GMT

    Go for Cook with what? A pop-gun attack? Get real, Ravi Shastri....

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 2:39 GMT

    Cook would be in great century making form after this series after all theses r indian bowlers so no big deal hehehehehe.Another triple is round the corner for cook

  • POSTED BY Cric-Aus-SL on | July 2, 2014, 2:34 GMT

    Pitches for both matches were prepared completely flat, Remember India lost only two wickets while posting 333 on the first day of the first match, Actually England did not want indian batsmen to get familiar with English conditions. So nothing much to blame on Indian pace bowlers though they are one of the worst attack in the world cricket these days.

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 2:32 GMT

    Cook gonna come hard at indian mediocre pacers

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 2:25 GMT

    As every one aware that India is famous for allowing non-form players to come back to form. Cook has a great opportunity to return to form by scoring huge hundreds in the five test matches against India and keep his place for another few years. Indian bowling attack is very weak and they do not have great pace bowling or spinning attack this year and am confident that England will not lose the 20 wickets in any of the five tests. There are only two possibilities in this series. Either England Win or a Draw only possible. Draw only if our batters play to their potential. I am expecting at least 3-0 win for England.

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 2:22 GMT

    I agree with T-800, and echo the same tweet as by Bish Bedi. Cook lead from front when he and english won the series in India. We keep talking about Cook's weekness and to target him but no one worries about how Dhoni is going to lead this team and break than 13 match "no win overseas" streak. Before guys start to pounce on me, i am a big fan of Dhoni's captaincy in ODI and T20, but he has similar concerns as of Cook in Tests. So i hope Dhoni proves me wrong as i think he has got the team he wanted and hope he can marshall his resources better than letting a humble indian fan like me wondering when will this team again win overseas test and series. Good luck India!!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 2:07 GMT

    india should go in with 6 batsmen as four or five bowlers won't make any difference, they are anyway going to get hammered under the stewardship of the great Ishant Sharma. The sixth batsman might come in handy if there occurs any initial jitters on a seaming track. Expect the batsmen to score runs unlike 2011 and hope it's at least 3-0 instead of a whitewash. Unless those hopeless club standard bowlers deliver for India, the series is lost even before a ball is bowled.

  • POSTED BY OneTipOneHand on | July 2, 2014, 1:55 GMT

    Great plan, Mr Ravi Shastri - but only on paper. Where's the firepower, though? Ishant (can-you-believe-he's-been-selected-again!) Sharma? An unfit Shami? The rookie squad of Bhuvi, Pankaj, Stuart? Or Varun (erratic) Aaron?

  • POSTED BY bootlicker on | July 2, 2014, 1:51 GMT

    Ravi, Good thinking and suggestions but the bottom line is Cook will find his form against IND and the series will win by ENG. Don't expect IND to fight like SL. SL is a different kettle of fish and they are in peak at the moment.

  • POSTED BY landl47 on | July 2, 2014, 1:45 GMT

    I'm always bewildered by statements like Shastri's, that India should 'go for' Cook. Cook is an opening batsman. Don't the Indian side always 'go for' the opposition's opening batsmen? If they do, how is it going to be any different? If they don't, how can they hope to win games?

    It's just another example of the media searching for something to say and coming up with something that makes no sense. Cook has his problems, but one of them isn't whether the Indian bowlers 'go for' him or not. He expects them to go for him. Opposing bowlers have been going for him for 104 tests already.

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 1:30 GMT

    If shastri wanted to psyche out an out of form cook he shoulsnt have threatened him with ishant... He shouldve done what mccullum did that started his downfall , compare him to bradman or tendulkar, claim he is a sleeping giant and have to be very wary of his supreme talent... Lets see how this plays out..

  • POSTED BY CricketFever11 on | July 2, 2014, 1:00 GMT

    What a strategic plan to win test matches away from home. If you have the capacity to take 20 wickets you can win matches. Since, Indians are unable to do so, these plans come out. 3rd class statement from a first class commentator.

  • POSTED BY OneEyedAussie on | July 2, 2014, 0:47 GMT

    Go for Cook? With what - a popgun?

  • POSTED BY on | July 2, 2014, 0:35 GMT

    who better to run yourself back into form than against a toothless bowling attack

    cook must be quietly confident

  • POSTED BY Nampally on | July 2, 2014, 0:12 GMT

    India is having its own bowling woes with Ishant bowling one No-ball/over & rest of the Indian bowling being hammered by lowly second division county like Derbyshire. England have sufficiently strong batting besides Cook- e.g; Robson, Balance & Bell. The same Indian bowlers who failed against second division county team have to play against much stronger opposition- England. Hopefully Indian bowlers will recover form & bowl well enough to take Cook's wkt. I am hoping Shami recovers his fitness & Ishant is replaced in the XI by Aaron or Pandey. India has its own troubles in Dhoni as the Captain, whose record overseas is dismal. As the saying goes "People living in glass Houses-----". As an Indian fan, I do not like to criticise Cook or his captaincy or his batting form. He will recover. I am more concerned with Dhoni's abilty to select a rational XI, Indian bowling, batting & fielding- especially slip catching. Cook after several series wins is having a lean time & bad luck- a Blip!

  • POSTED BY on | July 1, 2014, 23:45 GMT

    With weakest and pathetic bowling unit, India will lose badly and cook will score heavily. Shastri and others then will start blaming Indian captain and instead of cook, Dhoni will be under pressure with many voices calling to sack him.

  • POSTED BY on | July 1, 2014, 23:14 GMT

    So the Indians think that they can do the same what we did in England, eh? May be in their wildest dream. I bet that cook will get back to his form and start chasing lame Indian bowling attack. Shastri is day dreaming. India basically doesn't have a bowling attack like Sri Lanka. Do you really think that Ishant can do the same what Eranga and Prasad did to England?

  • POSTED BY ac_Indian on | July 1, 2014, 23:13 GMT

    @ T-800: What a ridiculously ill-informed statement it is to say that Indian fans do not care. Moreover, to say that Indians have no clue on pacy tracks and have no idea about a bouncer etc. is again a hugely one sided and exaggerated statement. There are a lot of batsmen in the world who find pace and bounce difficult and this is not limited to Indian/subcontinent batsmen. Didn't the English team struggle against pace and bounce in the last ashes? And what about awful number of batsmen who struggle against quality spin? But I guess stereotyping and selective filtering of facts is the easiest thing to do and kind of a norm these days.

  • POSTED BY on | July 1, 2014, 22:35 GMT

    You need to have quality in your bowling to go after batsmen

  • POSTED BY on | July 1, 2014, 22:10 GMT

    cook is a good batsmen but he needs to step down as captain to get back to that role .being captain can affect some peoples game.

  • POSTED BY 5wombats on | July 1, 2014, 21:56 GMT

    This is hilarious. India haven't got anything to "go for" Cook with. This is the usual big talk. The defeats will start racking up for India - and then all this big talk will soon be forgotten. Last time in England Cook knocked nearly 300 off of the worlds number one ranked team in one innings, and then in India.... well, Indians (like Shastri) have already forgotten what Cook did to them there.

  • POSTED BY Yasi_Gee on | July 1, 2014, 21:36 GMT

    I don't think India could win the test series in England as they couldn't even bowl out second eleven county teams (Leistershire and Derbyshire).

  • POSTED BY HarrowXI on | July 1, 2014, 21:35 GMT

    Cook dont worry. India will alllow u to come back to form. Cook will score minimum 3 hundreed and one double hundreed.

  • POSTED BY CricketChat on | July 1, 2014, 21:10 GMT

    Totally agree with Shastri as it is an age old tactic to go after opposing captain to gain psychological advantage over the opponents. The real question though is: does India have the bowling fire power, pace or spin, to knock off Cook. The Indian bowling display on the warm up matches thus far will not cause Eng to lose any sleep. If I were Cook, I would be desperate to face the Ind attack at the earliest. After this series, no one will even remember that Cook had had a torrid time in the last 12 months or so in test cricket as a batsman. Ind should prepare for a big thrashing in the test seies at least.

  • POSTED BY espncricinfomobile on | July 1, 2014, 21:02 GMT

    So are we saying Cook is under more pressure than MSD? How many hundreds and how many wins does MSD have in his record recently?

  • POSTED BY Rahul_78 on | July 1, 2014, 21:01 GMT

    Escuse me but the article fails to enlighten us as to in what capacity Shastri is speaking? Certainly he isnt associated with the Indian team. And known as BCCI cheerleader.

  • POSTED BY UndertheGrill on | July 1, 2014, 21:01 GMT

    Surprised at the amount of negative Indian comment on here. If England can lose at home to Sri Lanka, they can lose at home to India.

  • POSTED BY itsthewayuplay on | July 1, 2014, 20:52 GMT

    Firstly, it's not for Shastri to comment on what Cook should or shouldn't do with regard to his captaincy. Clearly trying to mind games but only succeeding in proving that that Indians don't know how to sledge. In fact, these comments could backfire spectacularly. The theory is sound - go for the opposition captain particularly one who is under a certain amount of scrutiny with hope that lack of runs will affect his captaincy and have a knock-on effect on the team. But you need the bowlers to put the theory into practice. It's possible this India's bowlers could surprise but the odds are that this bowling attack is exactly what Cook needs to rediscover his run-scoring ways.

  • POSTED BY bobmartin on | July 1, 2014, 20:49 GMT

    India should go for Cook....with an attack which has just been thrashed all over the park by Leicester and can only take 5 for plenty against Derby... that must be a joke.. Get Cook maybe... but there's plenty more talent to follow him... all of whom got tons against the Sri Lankan attack.. who suffer nothing in comparison to the Indians when they're away..

  • POSTED BY sudhindranath on | July 1, 2014, 20:32 GMT

    "India has the propensity to help other teams come back to form..."

    Absolutely. I remember the time when NZ's Ken Rutherford had scored more zeroes than runs against the dreaded West Indies attack. The Kiwis then played a series against India, and Rutherford promptly hit a half century and bounced back into form!

  • POSTED BY Lassie.Perera on | July 1, 2014, 20:31 GMT

    If you are a gambler then put money on Cook. He will be back in form and imo he will be the English highest run getter in this five match series. ohh boy.. he is a wonderful batsman and this time around his bat would do the talking.

  • POSTED BY Diaz54 on | July 1, 2014, 20:08 GMT

    I will post my comments again! Not controversial! I say Ravi is right technically, but the issue is with what? No pace nor spin! The attack is inferior to Sri Lanka! Besides do you really want to hurt your big 2 buddy! I don think so as it is all about money.

  • POSTED BY CricPissu on | July 1, 2014, 20:04 GMT

    Well India....we Lankans showed you how to play and beat them...now get on with your game plan...be aggressive, never give up, don't get disheartened if you lose a session or two, you may lose small battles here and there, don't react to sledgings, let the bat and ball do the talking. Keep the bigger picture in mind always that; 'the war should be won'... Ifthi

  • POSTED BY Coolcapricorn on | July 1, 2014, 19:28 GMT

    Considering our bowling has struggled against both Leicestershire & Derbyshire CCC's - two teams at the bottom of the county circuit this season - I think Cook must be looking forward with relish to facing our pathetic bowling & rebuilding his Test batting records. As usual, we will have to rely on our batters to score loads to runs to compensate for our poor bowling & probably poor bowling selection choices too as seen in both NZ & SA.

  • POSTED BY tumbleweed on | July 1, 2014, 19:18 GMT

    It is a great insult to hound Cook for not engaging Moeen Ali to bowl more overs in the Headingly Test against SL. Moeen Ali may have got the wicket of Sangakara playing a lazy shot and the out of form Tirimanne but that does not inspire a captain to keep bowling him against batsmen who are brought up on spin. I have seen dozens of youngsters in the sub continent who can bowl much better than Ali. Cook or any captain would not have the confidence to throw the ball to such a bowler and expect wickets. If he was so good why did he not take wickets when he got to bowl a lot eventually. This is the problem with English cricket - on the strength of one mediocre performance they praise him to the hilt. On the other hand poor Cook who is a proven performer is thrown to the wolves. Let Ali be a consistent performer and be judged when he has played at least 100 Tests like Bell. Even Ali's century was scratchy on a unresponsive pitch for the bowlers. TUMBLEWEED

  • POSTED BY R_U_4_REAL_NICK on | July 1, 2014, 19:04 GMT

    Enjoying the current game against Derbyshire Mr Shastri? Not only a Division Two team, but sitting at the BOTTOM of Division Two just four points above Leicestershire. India struggling to pick up wickets from either of these teams. By all means set your bar low and target an out-of-form, in-the-spotlight player like Cook; but just remember there's another nine wickets per innings to pick up as well.

  • POSTED BY yohandf on | July 1, 2014, 18:50 GMT

    India , don t rely on verbal stuff . instead do your basics right . try to bat long . bowl your best . results will be on yo way . Wishes from Sri Lankan fan

  • POSTED BY TimeKiller on | July 1, 2014, 18:48 GMT

    Team India is going to miss the services of the two best swing bowlers in the country: The Kumars - Praveen and Vinay. Yadav should be there as well, instead of Aaron, Ishant, Pankaj and Binny.

  • POSTED BY glen1 on | July 1, 2014, 18:48 GMT

    Now that Dravid has joined the team to help with batting, the team size is swelling up and it is hard to keep up with all the palates; there is Shami who likes Biryani and Ashwin who likes spicy curries. All Shastri is suggesting is that the team get its own 'Cook' to get some tasty food going, while they watch the World Cup Football, and the ladies go shopping.

  • POSTED BY Smithie on | July 1, 2014, 18:46 GMT

    You mean like Mitchell Johnson will go after Dhoni in Aus come Dec/Jan Ravi?

  • POSTED BY wapuser on | July 1, 2014, 18:44 GMT

    Pls indian team go back and play in subcontinent and remain ipl t20 champions there will be much embarassment not getting 10 wkts even in single innings; unless indian selectors make bold choices of playing attacking bowlers for tests in terms of speed, swing, seam ( umesh, r.dhawan, karnveer) this ind team is doomed to fail badly

  • POSTED BY rizwan1981 on | July 1, 2014, 18:42 GMT

    I am a SRILANKAN but I believe that the Indian team is superior than my own team in batting and bowling - When it comes to fielding the Lankans are much better than their Indian counterparts ( Mahela is probably the best Slipper in the world )

    If Dhoni captains aggressively , India can win the series 3-0 . ( the Pitch at Lord's and the Oval is a batsman's paradise , so a results impossible )

  • POSTED BY T-800 on | July 1, 2014, 18:12 GMT

    If Cook cannot get his act together against India, it is safe to say that Cook as a captain, under the current circumstances is a lost cause.

    India abroad, these days, are International Cricket's favorite whipping boys especially when they face pacy tracks.Cook has no shortage of resources - Anderson, Broad, Plunkett are quality fast bowlers , Current Indian batsmen seem to have very little clue what to do with the bouncer. So, if Cook can't beat India convincingly now, then the case for changing the captain becomes stronger. On the Indian side of things, India is free to lose as many series they want abroad. The BCCI and to a certain extent the Indian public don't seem to care. So, perfect opportunity for Cook

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 1, 2014, 18:06 GMT

    India should go in with 5 bowlers..... 4 quicks and 1 spinner...... 2 spinners is too much and neither Ashwin nor Jadeja is gud enough to be picked as a batsman who can bowl. Not going by the practice matches, I think we should pick Ashwin..... Simply because England have so many left handers in their line up. Coming to the 4 quicks, many believe Ishant is useless, but the truth is, in SA and NZ, he got more wickets than the other bowlers, so I'm looking forward to more from him. I still wouldn't give him more than one match to prove himself. The thing with Ishant is, he has one spell per day where he's excellent but the other spells are so horrible that he loses credit for all the good work he did. That's y Dhoni needs to have 4 bowlers. Bhuvi and Shami can bowl the long spells, and Ishant and Aaron can be used in 4-6 over blasts alternatively, this ensuring there's at least 20 overs per session where the batsmen have to fend off bouncers and face speeds of 140+. Good Luck

  • POSTED BY StatisticsRocks on | July 1, 2014, 17:57 GMT

    Cook will get back in form against us and start scoring centuries at will. We have one of the worst bowling attacks who cannot even bowl out county sides. Why no Umesh Yadav, still beats me. I predict another clean sweep for ENG.

  • POSTED BY Johnny_129 on | July 1, 2014, 17:53 GMT

    Mr Shastri, please wake up!! The performance of the Indian pace bowlers has not changed - Cook will be the one going after Indian bowling and not vice-versa. How many times do we see out of form batsmen come great as soon as that get that step back in pace with the Indian bowling. I would not be surprised at all to see a Cook double or triple century!!

  • POSTED BY cloudmess on | July 1, 2014, 17:46 GMT

    Ravi, if your nation could also take out Moores this summer, that would be gratefully received by many English cricket fans.

  • POSTED BY DavidWarner on | July 1, 2014, 17:44 GMT

    @Stup1d, Lol. hilarious comments. Those are tough targets, don't think this Indian team will hit any of them.

  • POSTED BY on | July 1, 2014, 17:31 GMT

    In all probability Ishant Sharma will bowl a few short and wide deliveries, and let Cook off the hook, and he will then score a triple 100.

  • POSTED BY indian1986 on | July 1, 2014, 17:21 GMT

    I really cannot understand why Indian fans are degrading our own team? what can u achieve by doing so. try and support the team if possible, these are India's best players and our hope to win a away series. ALL THE BEST TEAM INDIA!!!

  • POSTED BY on | July 1, 2014, 17:12 GMT

    cant win without viru...rohit vijay can only play in india not in english conditions..! experience needed to play in overseas conditions..!!..viru much needed now..zak also

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 1, 2014, 17:10 GMT

    Very good plan by India to win the series. This is the great sprit of Cricket

  • POSTED BY on | July 1, 2014, 17:09 GMT

    Whatever happened to the spirit of cricket? Playing your best and sportingly allowing the other team to too and whoever wins is more genuinely skillful. All this mental disintegration is an unsavoury legacy of the Waugh era, much as I respect him. I am dismayed by how normal it is as an idea in world cricket now. No Ravi, I'd rather listen to Rahul (Dravid) this time.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 1, 2014, 17:08 GMT

    Very good spirit of cricket thinking by India

  • POSTED BY WalkingWicket11 on | July 1, 2014, 17:01 GMT

    Yeah right, India will "go for" Cook, and help him extend his career by another couple of years. They should start by chasing easier targets such as: 1. Avoid a 5-0 whitewash, that is, save at least one Test. 2. Carry a Test into 5th day. 3. Score 300 runs at least once (team score, I mean.) 4. Concede less than 500 runs in an innings at least once.

  • POSTED BY LAKingsFan on | July 1, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    I think Cook thinks somehow he can score against Indian attack and win some tests. And, it will put the lid on his critics. But I'm not 100% sure if Cook can replicate what he did against India a couple of years ago. He was in tremendous form where as India was struggling with out-of-form aged Sachin. Different day and different team though. Remember, in 2011, when Eng whitewashed India it was Strauss who was captaining England. He was in different league compared to Cook. Interesting days ahead. Can't wait for the series to start.

  • POSTED BY Balladeer on | July 1, 2014, 16:34 GMT

    As an England fan, yes, please do target Cook. Target him so much that he'll do one of two things: realise that he cannot possibly juggle test opening, test captaincy, ODI opening and ODI captaincy, and quit some of the above; or regain form against what still looks to me to be a mediocre bowling attack with a century or three. Either would be a step towards getting one of England's best batsmen back towards his best.

  • POSTED BY on | July 1, 2014, 16:25 GMT

    "Shastri wants India to 'go for' Cook", really and how would you do that. Can't go for Cook without any bowlers, can we. India's had an appalling away record during the last few years and I don't think that is going to change soon without nurturing the bowlers.

  • POSTED BY brokeneffingarm on | July 1, 2014, 16:22 GMT

    If Varun can attain his place in the team I believe that.Varun can soften him up a bit & build pressure & bhuvi can bowl the full away swinger to get him to drive. Bhuvi can also set him up with a flurry of away swingers & bring the odd ball back in. I wouldnt expect Cook to pick those as he is woefully out of form. Bhuvi has his stage set up... time for him to perform

  • POSTED BY on | July 1, 2014, 16:18 GMT

    As an Indian fan I find this funny...India has the propensity to help other teams come back to form..Dont be surprised when england dishes out another 5-0 whitewash to India..Cook may love to smash himself back to form as he feasts on the Indian bowlers.

  • POSTED BY dabbadubba on | July 1, 2014, 16:17 GMT

    its difficult to imagine cook not scoring a double/triple ton against indias pop gun attack over the course of the series

  • POSTED BY Sultan2007 on | July 1, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    Fully agree, Ravi. But with what? With Ishant? Look at Leicester and Derby. Bottom of the pile teams! And he is supposed to be our Bowling Captain? I fear that just like last time, folks like Bell and Cook are going to get another lease of life and by the 3rd Test our bowlers will be worn out. If however, India can put up 450-500 scores in the first 2 matches, they will have a chance going deeper into the series because I believe Anderson and Broad are both fragile - after the last Ashes series and could well wear out.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 1, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    If India was to rely on Ishant Sharma.. india should be ready for a whitewash considering how awful ishant sharma is. i still have high hopes on bhuvi and shami. Sharms is a good bowler for any batsman to get back in form.

  • POSTED BY KashifTasneem on | July 1, 2014, 16:02 GMT

    Cook will be back in form with in first 2 tests.

  • POSTED BY Webba84 on | July 1, 2014, 15:53 GMT

    Winning Tests will help with his captaincy??? I thought it was supposed to be the other way round.

  • No featured comments at the moment.

  • POSTED BY Webba84 on | July 1, 2014, 15:53 GMT

    Winning Tests will help with his captaincy??? I thought it was supposed to be the other way round.

  • POSTED BY KashifTasneem on | July 1, 2014, 16:02 GMT

    Cook will be back in form with in first 2 tests.

  • POSTED BY android_user on | July 1, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    If India was to rely on Ishant Sharma.. india should be ready for a whitewash considering how awful ishant sharma is. i still have high hopes on bhuvi and shami. Sharms is a good bowler for any batsman to get back in form.

  • POSTED BY Sultan2007 on | July 1, 2014, 16:15 GMT

    Fully agree, Ravi. But with what? With Ishant? Look at Leicester and Derby. Bottom of the pile teams! And he is supposed to be our Bowling Captain? I fear that just like last time, folks like Bell and Cook are going to get another lease of life and by the 3rd Test our bowlers will be worn out. If however, India can put up 450-500 scores in the first 2 matches, they will have a chance going deeper into the series because I believe Anderson and Broad are both fragile - after the last Ashes series and could well wear out.

  • POSTED BY dabbadubba on | July 1, 2014, 16:17 GMT

    its difficult to imagine cook not scoring a double/triple ton against indias pop gun attack over the course of the series

  • POSTED BY on | July 1, 2014, 16:18 GMT

    As an Indian fan I find this funny...India has the propensity to help other teams come back to form..Dont be surprised when england dishes out another 5-0 whitewash to India..Cook may love to smash himself back to form as he feasts on the Indian bowlers.

  • POSTED BY brokeneffingarm on | July 1, 2014, 16:22 GMT

    If Varun can attain his place in the team I believe that.Varun can soften him up a bit & build pressure & bhuvi can bowl the full away swinger to get him to drive. Bhuvi can also set him up with a flurry of away swingers & bring the odd ball back in. I wouldnt expect Cook to pick those as he is woefully out of form. Bhuvi has his stage set up... time for him to perform

  • POSTED BY on | July 1, 2014, 16:25 GMT

    "Shastri wants India to 'go for' Cook", really and how would you do that. Can't go for Cook without any bowlers, can we. India's had an appalling away record during the last few years and I don't think that is going to change soon without nurturing the bowlers.

  • POSTED BY Balladeer on | July 1, 2014, 16:34 GMT

    As an England fan, yes, please do target Cook. Target him so much that he'll do one of two things: realise that he cannot possibly juggle test opening, test captaincy, ODI opening and ODI captaincy, and quit some of the above; or regain form against what still looks to me to be a mediocre bowling attack with a century or three. Either would be a step towards getting one of England's best batsmen back towards his best.

  • POSTED BY LAKingsFan on | July 1, 2014, 16:38 GMT

    I think Cook thinks somehow he can score against Indian attack and win some tests. And, it will put the lid on his critics. But I'm not 100% sure if Cook can replicate what he did against India a couple of years ago. He was in tremendous form where as India was struggling with out-of-form aged Sachin. Different day and different team though. Remember, in 2011, when Eng whitewashed India it was Strauss who was captaining England. He was in different league compared to Cook. Interesting days ahead. Can't wait for the series to start.