England are hard to beat at home, and I'm expecting a very tight battle for India: Alastair Cook

England are hard to beat at home, and I’m expecting a very tight battle for India: Alastair Cook

Former England skipper Alastair Cook reckons England and India Test series will be close with the former being slight favorites.

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook. (Photo by Mike Egerton/PA Images via Getty Images)

India are currently battling out with New Zealand in the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand in Southampton. After the marquee clash, the Men in Blue will face-off England in a five-match Test series starting on August 4. The last time when India toured England in 2018, Virat Kohli had a memorable series with bat in hand as he plundered 593 runs. Although the team lost a hard-fought series, it definitely gave England a fight with both bat and ball.

Former England skipper Alastair Cook, who was part of that series and scored a memorable hundred in his last Test, feels the series will be a good one. Cook feels the past experiences of Team India will come in handy but the southpaw reckoned that beating England in their backyard will be tough.

India last won a Test series in the United Kingdom way back in 2007. During that series, Zaheer Khan perfectly exploited the seam and swing conditions and made the ball do the talking. Cook feels it will be a tough battle, with England being the slight favorites at the moment.

“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,” Cook was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

Cook reckons beating England in their backyard will require a monumental effort

Although the WTC final ends on June 23, which incidentally is a reserve day, India will get close to 40 days as the start of the first Test is in August. Few of the former cricketers questioned the scheduling of the matches. Cook, too, feels it’s a long gap and the players might be fatigued by the end of the tour due to bio-bubble norms and quarantine norms.

“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.”