‘Test futures are on the line’ - Alastair Cook warns England ahead of Leeds Test vs Pakistan
Former England captain Alastair Cook has warned his teammates that there could be repercussions if they fail to perform well in the Leeds Test against Pakistan, starting June 1.Updated: May 31, 2018 16:25 IST
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
In the wake of England’s humiliating defeat against Pakistan in Lord’s Test, Alastair Cook has sent a warning to his teammates, saying they need to either raise their game or look for other job options.
Cook, who is set to go past Allan Border’s record for most consecutive Tests in Leeds on Friday, admitted that England are not playing good cricket at the moment.
“We need to play better. Test futures are on the line. It’s never great when you lose, even more so playing the way we did at Lord’s. It’s a frustrating time for us at the moment as a side; we’re not playing well,” Cook wrote in his Sky Sports column.
“If you want to play cricket for England, you’ve got to deliver, otherwise we’ll be looking for other employment. That’s the nature of the beast and, fundamentally, we’re not producing out in the middle, he said.
The 33-year-old, though, urged his teammates to stay together and avoid blame game.
“But we have to stick together as a group. The last thing you can do is play the blame game, and the trick is now to not carry the negatives from the first Test with us to Headingley.
“Again, that’s another thing easier said than done. But clearly we are not going to lose every game of cricket ever, it is going to turn around at some stage, and it’s down to us to do that,” the southpaw batsman said.
Cook was especially disappointed with Mark Stoneman’s performance. The left-handed batsman has been dropped following the Lord’s debacle and Keaton Jennings, who made his Test debut against India in 2016, has been named as Stoneman’s replacement.
“It’s tough on Mark Stoneman. It’s horrible. Playing for England is these guys’ dreams, so it’s not nice seeing people dropped. I spoke to him on Monday; he was obviously disappointed, as you’d expect, but he has to now go away, score runs and look at areas in which he can improve his game.
“It gives Keaton a great opportunity, and we just need people to grab these opportunities with both hands and to start pushing this side forward, like Jos Buttler and Dom Bess - on debut - did at Lord’s,” he wrote.
First Published: May 31, 2018 16:25 IST