Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook

England may have got it wrong with their rotation policy which has led to their winter season going bad, former captain Alastair Cook has said.

Alastair Cook on ENG vs IND Test series

England started the season off with an impressive series win in Sri Lanka and going 1-0 up away from home against Virat Kohli led India.

However, they then suffered heavy defeats in the series to miss out on the World Test Championship final and then lost 1-0 in a two-Test series to New Zealand at home.

“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,” Cook told ESPNCricinfo.

“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,” said Cook.

“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. 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.

Cook said he felt sorry for Test captain Joe Root as he could not field his best team against New Zealand.

“I genuinely feel sorry for Joe Root because he hasn’t had his best players available. You can’t buy that experience of guys like Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Jonny Bairstow, Moeen Ali. Those kinds of players make a big difference. When you look at it in isolation, it doesn’t make that much sense what happened, but how they got there you can kind of half understand. It’s been a tough one, and they just got found out against a better team in that New Zealand series,” said Cook.

Alastair Cook also said that India will have a hard time beating England in their upcoming five Test series regardless of the hosts’ poor form.

“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. 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,” said Cook.

“India would have been here for a long time as well so could get mentally fatigued by the end of the tour. India will start pretty well but, consistently over five games, to beat England at home is a monumental effort. So I think if England hang in with India early on, there’s no reason why they can’t win,” he added.