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The series is a big challenge and we are the underdogs: Alastair Cook

Alastair Cook
Alastair Cook of England. (Photo by Mitchell Gunn/Getty Images)

They are up against the No. 1 ranked Test side, they are playing in their backyard having just lost a Test to Bangladesh for the first time heading into the series, England isn’t in the best position as they gear up for the five-match Test series against Team India. Skipper Alastair Cook admits the fact that his team will start as underdogs given that they aren’t really comfortable in the subcontinent conditions.

Ahead of the first Test that starts on November 9 at Rajkot, Cook said, “It’s a big challenge. Any time you play the No. 1 or the No. 2 ranked team in their backyard, who are very comfortable in their conditions, it’s a huge task for us. It’s a huge challenge to these guys who have not played a huge amount of cricket in the subcontinent as a group,”

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But he also mentioned that his team has often done well when they weren’t really expected to against major opponents. “We have played really good cricket in big series. Last year we went to South Africa and won away from home when they were No. 1. These are different conditions, but being underdogs takes a lot of pressure off us,” the English captain said.

Cook admitted that they have to make tough calls while picking the team as it isn’t going to be easy selecting the team for the games in India. “We have got some big selection calls to make but the process has started like always when you know two games (in Bangladesh) have happened,”

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He said that his team has regrouped well after the humiliating defeat at the hands of Bangladesh that leveled the series 1-1. At the moment, Cook also shared a memory of a press conference ahead of the Ahmedabad Test four years ago. “I remember saying in the press conference after the first Test when talk was India will win 4-0 that we might turn around and win 3-1. Anything is possible.

“Whatever challenge we have thrown up to these guys in big games someone has stood up and played good cricket that’s the challenge we face here where we are the underdogs,” the most capped England captain concluded saying.

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