Cooks’s woeful form continues

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iol spt july18 Cook AP England captain Alastair Cook's run of low scores continued when he was caught behind for 10 on the second day of the second Test against India. Photo by: Kirsty Wigglesworth/AP

London – England captain Alastair Cook's run of low scores continued when he was caught behind for 10 on the second day of the second Test against India at Lord's on Friday.

The left-handed opener, not moving his feet, nicked a good length ball just outside off stump from seamer Bhuvneshwar Kumar that swung away and India captain and wicketkeeeper Mahendra Singh Dhoni made no mistake with the catch.

Cook's exit left England 22 for one in reply to India's first innings 295 and meant it was now 26 innings since he had scored the last of his England record 25 hundreds, during which time his average has dropped into the 20s.

The 29-year-old Essex batsman's poor run of form has also coincided with an England slump that has seen the team go nine Tests without a victory ahead of this match at Lord's Ä their worst winless streak for more than 20 years.

Former England opener Geoffrey Boycott, commentating on BBC Radio's Test Match Special, re-iterated his call for Cook to take a break from the Test arena and return to county cricket in a bid to regain form.

“That's a disappointment for Alastair Cook – he has been playing well and then he went back to his old ways with no footwork and paid the price,” Boycott said.

“Test cricket is a tough place to find your form – that's why people like me suggest the best way forward is to go back to your county and get some runs.”

Boycott's fellow former Yorkshire and England batsman Michael Vaughan praised India's tactics.

“It's the first one where Alastair Cook dangled the bat. He has been playing so well, but he couldn't help himself.

“Bhuvneshwar Kumar set up Alastair Cook perfectly in the last over – he angled six balls in and then he got one to swing away in the next over. Brilliant tactics by India,” insisted Vaughan, England's 2005 Ashes-winning captain. – Sapa-AFP

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