Top order has done its job well: Cook

Top order has done its job well: Cook

England may have edged into the Champions Trophy semifinal, but the allegations of ball-tampering and their unconvincing performance in the tournament, especially the batting department, have taken sheen out of their campaign. Skipper Alastair Cook dealt with various issues during his pre-match press meet.

Excerpts

On if his team has been less appreciated: Not at all. It's just that stories are always written in terms of the side about. When you're sitting behind the ropes and you're not responsible for making decisions, it's quite an easy thing to say ‘I would have done something differently’ or when the pressure is not on you. You know, to have that situation, I think, that is very common for most professional sports teams, and especially here in England.

On performance of top-order: I think the top order has done its job pretty well so far. We've built solid platforms to go on and get big scores. There's always going to be a little bit of hit or miss when you've got to go in and strike from early. But they're sensational players at doing that. And then we've seen Morgs (Eoin Morgan) over the years, obviously Jos (Buttles) at Trent Bridge and Ravi (Bopara) here, you only need one of them to come off to get a big total, to put the icing on the cake.
On pressure of expectations from crowd: Did you say crowd pressure? I don't think so. We have an amazing support at home. We're used to playing in front of these big crowds, and we wouldn't swap the support we've had in this tournament or the support we get at home or abroad to anyone. We're very lucky as a side to have that support, and I don't see it at all as a hindrance.

On Graeme Swann’s fitness: It's clearly a concern for us. We haven't ruled him out totally yet for this game. We're going to have to see how he trains today and see how he pulls up tomorrow. There's one thing for certain, he won't be risked. There is no point in doing that for the fact that we've got Tredders (James Tredwell). He is an exceptional bowler, as well. We're very lucky in that department. We might be very cautious with him because it seems very sensible.

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