Cook, Haseeb ready for In­dia se­ries

Kuwait Times - - SPORTS -

Opener Alastair Cook is ap­proach­ing a test record as Eng­land cap­tain while fel­low opener Haseeb Hameed is on the verge of a test de­but as the tourists seek to strengthen their top or­der for a test­ing se­ries against In­dia.

The Eng­land tour of In­dia was cleared to take place at the last minute yes­ter­day - 24 hours be­fore the first test toss - when the coun­try’s supreme court and the Board of Con­trol for Cricket in In­dia set­tled a fi­nan­cial dis­pute.

The BCCI filed a late plea in the Supreme Court to re­lease funds for host­ing the fivetest se­ries. The supreme court agreed to al­low the BCCI to with­draw 5.87 mil­lion ru­pees to fund the se­ries.

Eng­land is com­ing off an em­bar­rass­ing loss in Bangladesh, but skip­per Cook is aim­ing for yet an­other record. Al­ready the most capped player for Eng­land, with 135, and the lead­ing test scorer with 10,688 runs, he will break the record he shares with Mike Ather­ton as Eng­land test cap­tain when he leads the team for the 55th time.

He has al­ready said 19-year-old Hameed will make his de­but at the ex­pense of Gary Bal­lance, mak­ing him the youngest open­ing part­ner Cook has ever had.

“It is time to give a young guy his op­por­tu­nity,” Cook said Tues­day. “Haseeb hasn’t been over­awed dur­ing his time so far with this squad. He is a nat­u­ral run-scorer and looks to be more ex­pe­ri­enced than his age sug­gests.”

The in­clu­sion of Hameed would push Ben Duck­ett down to No. 4. Duck­ett scored a half cen­tury against Bangladesh but did not im­press.

The bowl­ing at­tack will also be over­hauled. James An­der­son has re-joined the Eng­land squad but is un­avail­able for se­lec­tion. That leaves Stu­art Broad and Chris Woakes to lead the pace at­tack, while Moeen Ali could share the spin du­ties with re­called Gareth Batty and Adil Rashid.

Eng­land is the only for­eign team to win a test se­ries on In­dian soil - in 2012-13 since Aus­tralia in 2004-05, and has beaten In­dia in three con­sec­u­tive se­ries.

“We can only look for­ward to what we can do in the fu­ture,” In­dia skip­per Vi­rat Kohli said. “We want to win se­ries, and we want to win test matches.” The In­dian skip­per didn’t re­veal his play­ing XI, though he doesn’t have many tough de­ci­sions to make. Gau­tam Gamb­hir is ex­pected to open with Mu­rali Vi­jay, while the only dif­fi­cult choice would be over the make-up of the bowl­ing at­tack.

Ishant Sharma is fit for se­lec­tion, while Ravi Ashwin, Ravin­dra Jadeja and Mo­hammed Shami are back af­ter be­ing rested for the ODIs against New Zealand.

In­dia opted for a four-bowler at­tack dur­ing the New Zealand test se­ries, and could aim to do the same again. If that’s the case, Karun Nair could make his de­but and bat at No. 6. One of the most sig­nif­i­cant se­lec­tions of the se­ries will be the use of DRS for the first time in a test se­ries on In­dian soil. The adop­tion of the De­ci­sion Re­view Sys­tem, us­ing tech­nol­ogy to re­view um­pir­ing de­ci­sions, marks a new chap­ter of har­mony in test cricket across the world. In­dia had pre­vi­ously re­fused to accept DRS. — AP

RA­JKOT: Eng­land’s cap­tain Alastair Cook (R) looks on as team­mate Stu­art Broad makes a throw dur­ing a train­ing ses­sion at the Saurash­tra Cricket As­so­ci­a­tion sta­dium in Ra­jkot on the eve of the first test match against Eng­land yes­ter­day. — AFP

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Kuwait

© PressReader. All rights reserved.