We are the underdogs in this series, says Cook

Whether it was the direct result of reversals in the warm-up matches or a psychological ploy, Alastair Cook rated England as underdogs in the five-match series against India, starting here on Friday.

“Yeah, I know it was not an ideal start,” Cook said while referring to the two losses against India ‘A’ and Delhi. “I missed the first game and in the second game, it was apparent that we improved from the last game.

For us to win, I think, it showed the challenge we are going to have in our hands. Our skill levels will need to improve a lot. Yeah, it’s going to be hell of a challenge like the Test series in a way. We have to do something that no English team has done for a while,” he elaborated.

In what appeared an apparent bid to pass the pressure on to India, Cook said: “I think these guys feel pressure pretty much every day they play cricket. I don’t think it changes in this series.

Clearly we are the underdogs in this series but if you look through our side we have got a lot of firepower and world class players. For us to win this series, those world class players and everyone in our squad have to play out of their skin.”

Cook emphasised the need to be accurate in bowling in India. “In these conditions there is very little margin for error. We found that out the last time we were here and the two warm up matches.

Maybe in English conditions, where the ball nips around a bit with both the white balls early on, you can afford to leave that margin for error. But here, you get punished if you are off-line and length. We got to try and nail those skills and keep those freebies down as much as you can.”

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