India v England: Cook unfazed by lack of spin test for practice match

India v England: Alastair Cook plays down concerns over India A's lack of spinners in the build-up to the four-Test tour

Harry Kemble
By Harry Kemble
alastair cook
Alastair Cook was named as England's Test captain in August Photo: Back Page Images

alastair cook

Alastair Cook has dismissed concerns over the lack of opposition spinners for England’s opening practice match next week in India.

The tourists will play India ‘A’ in a three-day match on Tuesday, a day after arriving from a training camp in Dubai.

However, India’s cricket bosses have not picked any front-line spinners to deliberately starve England’s batsmen of meaningful practice against slow bowling.

New skipper Cook believes England must stay focused and not get involved with any potential mind games, insisting the variety of bowlers available to them in net practice will be enough to get his team-mates on song.

“We don’t have any right to say who they can pick in their side,” said Cook. “We are just going to have to cross that bridge when we get to it.

“We know what we have got to do as a side from our experiences over the last six to seven months with the work we need to do on spin.”

He added: “Clearly the first match we are playing we won’t be playing a spinner but anyone who has been to India before has seen us in training has seen the number of net bowlers available to us.

“We can bat for as long as we want in those nets and there are a lot of spinners there too.”

Opening batsmen Joe Root and Nick Compton are both gunning for the vacant position at the top of the order left by former captain Andrew Strauss.

Cook, 27, believes the conditions are perfect for any opening batsmen playing in their first Test.

The left-hander himself began his international career with a mature 104 not out in India six years ago – a performance which led to many earmarking him as a future England captain.

“It is a great place to bat as an opening batter it is a fantastic place to play cricket out there. They love it. It is their religion,” said Cook.

“All I say is enjoy the moment don’t worry too much just concentrate on what got you selected in the first place. It is the same red ball coming down at you.”

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