The series will be a massive challenge, says Cook

The series will be a massive challenge, says Cook

“That’s the challenge and mountain that lies ahead of us,” the England captain remarked. “That shows that historically, India is a tough place to come to and win. That’s what we have got in front of us.

“We all know how strong India are, that’s why their record is so good,” added the left-hander, downplaying the absence of several big names in the opposition. “Whoever plays for India, they are a very strong and very talented side. They have a huge depth of talent to use.”

England trounced India 4-0 in the Test series and 3-0 in the one-dayers this summer. “It’s not at all relevant,” Cook emphasised. “It’s totally different conditions. What’s gone is gone. We had a really good summer, it was great to be a part of that. But this is a new series, new conditions and we start nil-all. Hopefully, we can start well.”

Cook said England had the wherewithal to buck a trend that has seen them lose 10 of their last 11 one-dayers in India. “We feel as if we can challenge any side,” the one-day skipper reiterated. “We know when we play our best cricket, we got a chance against anyone. In a five-match series, you got to do that consistently. That’s the challenge ahead of us. The squad’s now ready to play. What’s gone is gone. It’s now about fronting up tomorrow as a side, as eleven to go out and deliver a performance which can put India under some pressure.”

Key off-spinner and vice-captain Graeme Swann had some not too flattering words to say about Kevin Pietersen’s captaincy in his recently released autobiography. “No, there is no bad blood at all, there’s not been an issue about it,” Cook said.

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