Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook has said he feels sorry for Joe Root, who is going through a tricky period in charge of England’s Test team. The Three Lions recently lost 0-1 to New Zealand, which was their fourth series defeat in five outings, and first on home soil, under Joe Root.

Root has been unlucky at times as he has not had his best players due to either injuries or England’s workload management policy. Cook’s comment comes after England named a full-strength squad for the upcoming T20I and ODI series against Sri Lanka.

“Clearly it was disappointing. England have got themselves in a tough situation for the winter. It was going so well, winning in Sri Lanka, and then they’re 1-0 up against India,” ESPNcricinfo quoted Alastair Cook as saying.

“To then rest and rotate players, ever since that moment they’ve ended up chasing their tail — ending up with a fifth-choice wicketkeeper [James Bracey], an unbalanced side even though people were playing the [T20] Blast,” Cook added.

“You’ve got a Test captain who hasn’t been able to play his best side, yet we seem to be playing a full-strength side in the T20s against Sri Lanka. The decisions don’t look like they’ve been made correctly,” the former England skipper stated.

“Of course, they’re trying their best to make the right decisions for the right reasons, but when you’re playing for England, you get judged on end results most of the time, so you’d have to say it hasn’t worked,” he added.

England’s next Test assignment will be in August as Root and his men will host India for a five-match Test series, starting August 4 at Trent Bridge. Cook added that the availability of players like Ben Stokes and Jos Buttler will boost their chances of winning.

“It will be a better side with the players coming back against India. They’ll clearly be better balanced which, I think, is a massive issue for them and forced some strange selections against New Zealand, like no spinner on a dry wicket,” he stated.

“India have shown how good they are at the moment because they’re in the World Test Championship final but, over five Test matches in England, England are hard to beat at home, and I’m expecting a very tight battle,” he further quipped.

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