World of Sport

Cook bemoans poor batting

Saturday 19th January 2013 14:23

Cook: England thrashed

Cook: England thrashed

Alastair Cook bemoaned another sub-standard batting display from England as India enjoyed a clinical seven-wicket win in the third ODI.

After starting the trip by defending an imposing 325 in Rajkot, England have now been rolled over well short of 200 on successive occasions and trail 2-1 in the five-match Airtel series.

Saturday's first-innings effort was little short of a horror show, the tourists being dismissed for 155 with 7.4 overs still to be bowled.

They then looked on as India knocked off the target in just 28.1 overs to make light of their struggles.

The 39,000 fans who flocked to the maiden international fixture in Ranchi and saw the dream finish - local boy Mahendra Singh Dhoni pulling the winning runs to the boundary - will spare little thought to England's batting woes, but Cook does not have that luxury.

"We didn't get enough runs. It is a concern, of course," said the England skipper.

"It is frustrating when you don't play to your potential as a batting unit and we need to do that if we are to have a chance of winning out here. When you don't you get punished for it.

"We've got to be clear and start producing the goods out in the middle and not just talk about it.

"We've got some seriously quality players in our dressing room who can, on their day, win games for England and if we want to win we need to stand up as batsmen and deliver."

A whistle-stop one-day tour of India leaves no real time for introspection after defeat, with the teams leaving for Mohali in the morning, but Cook appreciates the need for some serious thinking.

He is without the likes of rested trio Graeme Swann, Jonathan Trott and James Anderson at the moment but has only used 12 players in three matches and may now be forced to consider the claims of fringe players like Jos Buttler, Stuart Meaker and Danny Briggs.

Of those, only Buttler would affect the mis-firing batting order, but Cook will look at the make-up of the side after two heavy defeats.

"It is hurting now and it will do for a day or so," he said.

"I think you do have to look (at alternatives) within the squad, certainly. To not look at it would be wrong, it is early days so we need to let the dust settle, but we need to look and see if we're missing a trick."

As for India, they can be more than satisfied with their day's work.

There were two wickets apiece for Ishant Sharma and newly-confident Ravichandran Ashwin, while Ravindra Jadeja again bamboozled England to pick up three for 19.

Virat Kohli also made a timely 77 not out, but the icing on the cake was Dhoni's late cameo.

His adoring public were desperate for the hometown hero to make an appearance with the bat and he went in ahead of Suresh Raina to hit the winning runs in fitting fashion.

Dhoni was quick to credit his team-mate for the promotion.

"I was just there sitting next to Raina, who was supposed to go in next and he said to me 'why don't you go in?'

"Usually it is his slot but I said 'okay, I'll give it a go'. It didn't look like a wicket would fall but I thought 'let me pad up and see'.

"Then fortunately - or unfortunately - Yuvraj got out."

The ovation he received was resounding, but he is a player with plenty of high points to look back on.

Asked if it was his finest moment in cricket, he said: "There are quite a few, it is difficult to remember.

"When you are so much in the present you always think this is the perfect moment, the one you have enjoyed the most."

The Board of Control for Cricket in India confirmed after the match that they will retain an unchanged squad for the last two games of the series.

That means no recall for Virender Sehwag, whose replacement Ajinkya Rahane was vulnerable after successive failures.

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