Former England skipper Alastair Cook has said that facing Indian bowlers in the five-match series will be a significant challenge for the young English batting line-up.
In the recent Edgbaston Test, England put up a poor batting performance, losing the two-match series 1-0 to New Zealand.
Cook claimed on the Tuffers and Vaughan podcast that England’s young batting line-up would struggle against a strong Indian bowling attack.
“When the pressure comes on, this England batting unit doesn’t respond too well, they often collapse, when the game’s right on the money or when it becomes tough. It would be interesting to see how they cope with India. It will be a great challenge for them.”
Cook went on to say that one of the main reasons for England’s problems is that they have too many inexperienced batters in the top and middle orders.
“We’ve also got to look at how many games these guys have played. (Dom) Sibley 20, (Rory) Burns 25, (Zak) Crawley 14, (Ollie) Pope 19. So four out of the top five, take Joe Root out of it, have played less than 25 games. In a really seasoned Test side, you only want one player with under 20 games. You want everyone else with 50-60 Tests.
“The England side which went to Australia in 2010-11 – myself, (Andrew) Struass, (Jonathan) Trott at three, KP (Kevin Pietersen) at four, (Ian) Bell at five, (Paul) Collingwood at six – we had all played 50-60 Test matches. We had all gone through what Sibley, Burns and Crawley are going through at this particular time.”
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“We were talking about Joe Root, in the 50-over game, being a situation player. I didn’t see any of that against New Zealand in those two Test matches. I still think there is a huge worry about the top three. Rory Burns in probably pretty much pinned in. But there are two or three spots lurking around. Ollie Pope short of runs, the likes of James Bracey came in, he was nervous. That batting order against that Indian bowling line-up will struggle, and they will need to do something about it because we could get blown away.”
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The five-match series between India and England will begin on August 4 in Nottingham with the opening Test.