Thursday 10 July 2014 

Farokh Engineer: Can't Help But Feel Sorry For Cook

Alastair Cook departs
Alastair Cook is low on confidence, but our expert columnist says he has to feel sorry for him
© REUTERS / Action Images

There was some good cricket played at Trent Bride today, plenty of oohs and ahs from the crowd, a catch dropped early on, batsmen playing and missing, it was all happening.

I have to say that the last-wicket stand for India completely got English heads down because they just didn't know what to do, how to get the tail-enders out over a partnership of more than 100 runs on a wicket that's wearing all the time.

The target was always for India to get between 450 and 500, and they achieved that target thanks to Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Mohammad Shami.

Early on, Matt Prior should have taken that catch to dismiss MS Dhoni - definitely. He got up too soon and you can't drop a man like Dhoni. Only time will tell how much they will regret dropping that catch, but he should have taken it.

Then we saw Alastair Cook out cheaply late on. He's definitely short of confidence - he's a man who doesn't know where his leg-stump is. That showed how low is confidence is.

But Sam Robson and Gary Ballance carried on, not setting the world alight, plodding along slowly. The Indian bowlers are not looking effective but they're looking OK. Mohammad Shami has bowled a dcent length, Ravindra Jadeja has come on and bowled, and a lot will depend on him.

I reckon India have made a wrong decision in dropping Ravichandran Ashwin because he would have been very useful on this track - especially with the uneven bounce and the ball pitching in the rough.

India have dropped him and picked Stuart Binny instead, who I think will be pretty innocuous on this track but let's wait and see what happens tomorrow.

England's first duty is now to avoid the follow on and that will be playing heavily on Alastair Cook's mind.

He looks like a man who lacks confidence and I don't know what the future holds for him. You may say he was unlucky to be bowled via his thigh pad but the thing is, he didn't know where his leg stump was, that's the trouble. That shows lack of confidence.

Had it not clipped his pad the stump would have been uprooted out of the ground - he was not covering all three stumps.

However, one can't help but feel sorry for him - his bad form has continued but let's hope for English supporters and for England that his form comes good soon.

Lycamobile ambassador Farokh Engineer was speaking to John Pennington. Win a holiday to India with Lycamobile by clicking here.

© Cricket World 2014