Spotlight will be on out of form players: Cook

February 10th, 2009 - 6:21 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Feb 10 (IANS) England’s opening batsman Alastair Cook feels that the spotlight will be on out of form players like him after the team’s humiliating loss in the first Test against West Indies.

Cook’s last three-figure score in Tests was against Sri Lanka in the Galle 14 months ago. And that, too, was about saving face rather than setting up a winning position. Since then he has made eight fifties in 23 innings.

“It’s not ideal, but if I’d converted three of those eight half-centuries I would not be under the microscope now,” Cook was quoted as saying in English media.

“I can’t pick on one thing. Obviously form fluctuates for every player but it is how you come out the other end. But it’s a concern and a monkey I’d like to get off my back as soon as I can.”

England were all out for 51, their third all-time lowest total, en route an innings and 32 run defeat against West Indies at Sabina Park.

“Ultimately the 11 on the field can’t hide behind anyone or anything else now.”

Cook’s first 34 innings saw him score six centuries while the next 34 have yielded only one in Galle.

“The complacency thing is simply not true. There’s no better feeling than scoring a Test hundred so the hunger to do that never leaves you.”

“I probably am more conscious of getting a hundred when I reach fifty now than at the start of my career,” admitted Cook.

“If you haven’t done it for a while you do start to think about it. With batting being such a mental game thinking about it too much doesn’t help.”

But Cook said the team will fightback as they have done in past.

“If you go back to New Zealand, we were 0-1 down and we won the next two Tests to win the series. That’s the challenge we’ve got here. It’s going to be hard and we’re under a lot of pressure, but if we can show the character we’ve got in the side we can bounce back.”

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