No injury concern for Alastair Cook - Paul Farbrace
England assistant coach Paul Farbrace clarified that Alastair Cook is not suffering from an injury, despite seeming to be in discomfort while batting in the second innings of the Dubai Test against Pakistan.
In the first Test in Abu Dhabi, Cook's marathon innings of 263 runs lasted almost 14 hours, while in the first innings of the second Test, Cook played for more than two hours for his 65.
Cook has not been fielding in the slips since tearing the webbing in his left hand in the first Test in Abu Dhabi, which needed stitches.
Farbrace suggested that Cook was not the most agile fielder in the game and that spending long hours at the crease when batting takes its toll.
"I'm not aware of any injury, except for the amount of hours he's spent hunched over a bat handle scoring thousands of runs.
"He never looks the best mover anyway.
“I've never really seen him flying around, that's why he's made such a great success at slip.
“But because of his hand he's been out of the slips, perhaps it's showing up a bit more because he's not been in the slips during this game.”
Cook has been troubled at times by a back injury, which flared up during the 2013-14 Ashes tour but the England captain has only missed one Test match which was in 2005-06 against India.
Farbrace believes that Cook manages his back injury very well and there was no cause concern for the team management.
“He is someone who from time to time does get treatment on his back, but honestly it’s not something we are spending time talking about.
“He needs to manage it himself and he does that really well.
“It isn’t a concern for us.”
Cook has been in prolific form in 2015, scoring 1245 runs from 12 matches, at an average of 59.28 including three hundreds and seven fifties.
Iterating that it will be tough to imagine an England team without Cook in the short term, Farbrace lauded the 30-year-old for his excellent leadership.
"Not at the moment because he has played so well.
"Even during the lean times run-wise, he's an important member of the team in terms of how he captains the side.
"The way he plays, the experience and leadership he gives our side with the way he bats, that's the greatest thing about Cooky - he leads by example.
“He's in great form and we want him in great form and playing for as long as possible.”
England have an uphill task to save the match on the fifth day of the second Test as they need 361 runs to win with seven wickets in hand and a full day to battle it out.
© Cricket World 2015