Refreshed Cook eyeing return to form in WI
LONDON, CMC - An upbeat England left here yesterday for their three-Test tour of the Caribbean, with captain Alistair Cook confident of making a huge impact against opponents struggling in the game’s longer form.
England exited the recent ICC World Cup without reaching the second round and are now focussed on regaining some lost pride in the series which bowls off in Antigua on April 13.
“We’ve got to focus on the exciting thing which is the next five weeks and the guys who are lucky enough to pull on that shirt, to represent our country and be committed to playing for England,” Cook prior to his departure from Gatwick Airport.
England, ranked number three in the Test rankings, will be expected to roll over West Indies, ranked number eight in the world.
However, much of the focus will be on Cook who has struggled in recent times with the bat, and who missed out on selection for the World Cup after also being dropped as captain.
The 30-year-old said the time away from the game had left him refreshed and he was hoping to now return to his prolific self.
“Every cloud has a huge silver lining and spending three months at home has been fantastic if I’m being honest with you,” the left-hander explained.
“It’s been living a normal life again which I haven’t had for quite a long time and it’s been great spending time with family and friends and being at home.
“On that side of it, it has been really refreshing and actually really enjoyable but obviously a lot’s gone on since that last win at the Oval against India where we played three outstanding Test matches to come back from 1-0 down in that Test series.”
England play two warm-up games in St Kitts starting next week before heading into the first Test at the Vivian Richards Cricket Stadium in St John’s.
The second Test is scheduled for the Grenada National Stadium from April 21-25 with the final Test set for May 1-5 at Kensington Oval in Barbados.
SQUAD - Alastair Cook (captain), James Anderson, Jonny Bairstow, Gary Balance, Ian Bell, Stuart Broad, Jos Buttler, Chris Jordan, Adam Lyth, Liam Plunkett, Joe Root, Adil Rashid, Ben Stokes, James Tredwell, Jonathan Trott, Mark Wood.