England v New Zealand: Cook reveals Broad and Finn fitness concern
England v New Zealand: Alastair Cook admits the fitness of bowlers Stuart Broad and Steve Finn is a "concern" going forward
Alastair Cook admits the fitness of bowlers Steven Finn and Stuart Broad is a “concern” with his side’s first Champions Trophy match just days away.
The 28-year-old skipper was speaking after New Zealand thumped England by 86 runs to give themselves an unassailable lead with one match to go in the current three-match series between the two sides.
The Black Caps’ victory gives Cook plenty to think about – particularly in the bowling department – with Australia, England’s first match of the global event, lying in wait this Saturday.
“[Broad and Finn] are both a concern,” admitted Cook. “But five or six days is still quite a long way away. They’ve missed two games and been out for a while, so we’ll see.”
Despite Cook’s admission, he stopped short of calling for replacements – choosing instead to throw his support behind the rest of squad.
England’s back-up bowlers Jade Dernbach and Chris Woakes – called-up in place of the injured Broad and Finn – have been anything but successful.
Both have been expensive and, further still, have taken only one wicket between them in the first two matches of the series.
“I think that would be doing a disservice to the other 13 guys in the squad,” added Cook.
“If you take two premier bowlers out of any side it will hurt and you might have to change the way you play.
“It’s been a tough couple of games. clearly when you lose bowlers of the quality of Stuart and Finny it leaves a hole. It has the given the opportunity to guys to show us what they can do. We’ve learned a lot about these players and us as a side.
“It’s obviously a concern; the standards we’ve played to here haven’t been good enough.”
Cook conceded in wake of the devastating losses at Lord’s and The Ageas Bowl he would consider changes ahead of Wednesday’s dead rubber.
“You do tend to look, after a couple of defeats, at the balance and make-up of your side. We certainly have options to go both ways… at this point I’m sure we’ll look at different combinations because the ones we’ve used haven’t worked in these two games.”