India vs England: Cook out to stem losing tide against M S Dhoni's team

Jul 07 2014, 19:13 IST
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SummaryEngland aim to avoid a third consecutive series defeat and ease the pressure on captain Alastair Cook when they host India in a five-test series for the first time since 1959, starting in Nottingham on Wednesday.

England aim to avoid a third consecutive series defeat and ease the pressure on captain Alastair Cook when they host India in a five-test series for the first time since 1959, starting in Nottingham on Wednesday.

Following the embarrassing 5-0 Ashes defeat in Australia at the start of the year, Andy Flower was replaced as coach by Peter Moores and controversial batsman Kevin Pietersen had his central contract terminated.

Hopes of a winning start to the new era were dashed on the penultimate ball of the second and final test against Sri Lanka in Leeds last month, with James Anderson's late dismissal condemning England to a 1-0 series defeat.

That reverse has intensified the pressure on opening batsman Cook who has not reached three figures in 24 test innings and publicly lashed out at one of his chief critics, former Australia great Shane Warne, last month.

Young Yorkshire batsman Joe Root though is backing England, who have not won any of their last eight tests, to hit back.

"We've got a lot to prove after what's just happened against Sri Lanka," Root told the England and Wales Cricket Board website (www.ecb.co.uk).

"We've got a hungry dressing room and everyone wants to prove a point and why not do it against the Indians? It would be a fantastic achievement.

"We all know we're going to have to play some seriously good cricket but we're more than capable of doing that."

The Sri Lanka series was not without hope for England with newcomers Moeen Ali, Sam Robson and Gary Ballance scoring maiden test centuries.

Chris Jordan and Liam Plunkett also showed flashes of aggression with the ball while Root notched a double ton with the bat.

Ben Stokes has been recalled to a 13-man squad that features six fast bowling options, an acknowledgement perhaps that Anderson and Stuart Broad appeared leg weary at times against Sri Lanka.

GREAT RECORD

"We've got a great record here as an England side," said Broad. "We've got a few guys who haven't played a lot of cricket at Trent Bridge but we've got a lot of guys, like Jimmy Anderson, whose bowling record here is phenomenal.

"I think Ian Bell has scored nearly 500 runs in his last four innings here so there's a lot of confidence from the guys who have played here.

"But the most confidence comes from winning and I think we've won five of our last tests here," said Broad.

India are also attempting to return to

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