‘Desperate to fit’: Cook claims England’s best batter struggling in Bazball era | Cricket

Former England captain Alastair Cook is convinced that his ex-teammate is struggling to play his natural game in the Bazball era. After defeating India in the series opener, Ben Stokes and Co. were outplayed by Rohit Sharma‘s Team India in the thrilling 2nd Test at Visakhapatnam. A reverse-bowling masterclass from Jasprit Bumrah and double-centurion Yashasvi Jaiswal powered India to a 106-run win over England in the 2nd Test.

England's captain Ben Stokes (2L) warms up with teammates during a practice session (AFP)
England’s captain Ben Stokes (2L) warms up with teammates during a practice session (AFP)

Pacer Bumrah picked up 3-46 while Ashwin recorded figures of 3-72 as India bowled England out for 292 runs in its record pursuit of the 399-run target on Monday. England’s Zak Crawley top-scored for the visitors with his 73-run knock in the 2nd innings. For the record, no batter crossed the 40-run mark in England’s second essay at Vizag.

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‘He is England’s best….’

Reflecting on England’s defeat to India, Cook opined that Joe Root’s desperation to fit in the Bazball-friendly England side has impacted his natural game. “He is England’s best batsman there’s ever been in all formats – but he does struggle sometimes with the tempo of this Bazball era,” Cook said on TNT Sports channel.

‘He’s brilliant but he’s so desperate’

“He sees all these other people playing these aggressive shots, which suit their style. Rooty has got 11,500 Test runs, he’s brilliant, but he’s so desperate to fit in to what Ben (Stokes) and Brendon (McCullum) are doing that sometimes I don’t think he gets his balance of attack and defence right,” Cook explained. India reduced England to 194/6 at Lunch on Day 4 of the 2nd Test. Taking three wickets in the 2nd innings, Bumrah bowled Tom Hartley in the 70th over to seal India’s win over England.

Root only managed to score 5 off 10 balls in the 1st innings of the 2nd Test against India. The former England skipper was outfoxed by Ashwin in the 2nd innings for 16 off 10 balls. Cook observed that Root threw down the gauntlet in his 2nd innings, which cut short his stay at the crease. “He was on 16 off nine balls and he doesn’t normally strike at that rate – he’s normally striking at 75 to 80, which is still incredibly high for a Test match strike-rate, with zero risk. That’s when I love watching Joe Root bat,” Cook added.

Cook asserted that Root is often century-bound in the sub-continent if scores 15 runs. Root has amassed 11,468 runs for England in 137 Tests. The former England skipper has 30 centuries and 5 double tons under his belt. “When he gets in, you call it early – I’ve called it early a few times on sub-continent days: he’s on 15 but he’s getting a hundred here. He’s going to milk them at his will, sweeps, all in control. I don’t think he was in that control,” Cook concluded.

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