Cook warns against India backlash: Robin Hutchison

Alastair Cook has warned England to expect a backlash from India in next month’s ODI series.

Cook recently led the team to a 3-0 victory against their injury-ravaged opponents to cap a successful summer of cricket.

But he expects both conditions and their hosts to prove a sterner test when battle recommences on the sub-continent.

He said: “They’ll be hurting like hell and they’ve already been saying ‘just wait until we get you on our pitches’. I doubt we’ll see a blade of grass on a wicket out there and it will be really tough against a team looking for revenge.

“There will be times when we won’t be able to hear ourselves think and the ball will be disappearing out of the park. But how we react to that will determine how well we do and whether or not we can repeat our series victory.”

England’s last two one-day series in India started badly and got worse. In 2006 Andrew Flintoff’s side went down 5-1 and two years later Kevin Pietersen’s were thumped 5-0.

Cook, who was handed the captaincy in May, contributed 11 runs in 15 balls in the final match of that second series in his one ODI appearance on Indian soil to date.

He is wary about falling victim to an unfortunate hat-trick and believes a significant change in personnel in recent times might help prevent it.

He said: “Not too many of the guys have played in India so there aren’t many scars from previous tours. India will certainly be favourites, but looking around our dressing room I know how hungry everyone is to do well.

“We’re a young side and we’ve got some great players coming through as we’ve seen in recent weeks. There’s some real talent there. There are also a lot of fighters and we will need to show all of that fighting spirit to get the right result.”

Quick to praise others, Cook is more modest about his own achievements that include him winning of the England FTI MVP award.

His 1205 runs – 467 of which came in one-day games – was a significant contribution to the Test and ODI sides’ successes, and answered critics who questioned his initial selection.

He added: “It’s nice to win an award but nicer to make a contribution as it’s important when you are in form to make it count.

“To be honest, I was frustrated not to play in the one-day series in Australia following the Ashes win in the winter. But in retrospect the rest probably did me a lot of good after what was a physically and mentally challenging time for all the guys.

“I certainly wouldn’t have swapped it for two wins out of two at the start of the summer – particularly with one being against the world champions.”

About Robin Hutchison

Robin Hutchison is a Midlands-based sports Journalist and PR consultant. He is a regular contributor to The Cricketer magazine and currently pens their monthly betting column. He also contributes articles to a number of national newspapers including The Sun, Daily Star, Sunday Mirror and Sunday Express and is the author of The Tinman: The Ted McMinn Story.
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