Landmark looms for captain Cook


Published: Tuesday 7th April 2015 by The News Editor

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Alastair Cook goes into the second day of England’s first West Indian warm-up match just five runs short of a long-awaited century.

Captain Cook has not made a hundred for his country in any form of cricket since May 2013 but has the chance to put a dent in that statistic on Tuesday.

The nature of the game – a two day knockabout – and the calibre of the St Kitts & Nevis Invitational XI, who looked well short of the required standard on a lopsided opening day, mean it would hardly be a headline achievement.

But batsmen thrive on the business of scoring runs and Cook is hardly in a position to be picky about when and where he reaches three figures.

He will take guard at Warner Park on 95 not out, with England 181 for one in response to the hosts’ paltry 59 all out.

Should he reach the milestone he may well choose to retire out in short order, allowing his team-mates to share the feast, but by then he would already have achieved his first goal of the tour.

There was good news on Monday for Jonathan Trott, too.

The batsman, wearing the Three Lions for the first time since departing Australia with a case of situational anxiety 18 months ago, made a composed 72.

He has been pencilled in as Cook’s new opening partner and the pair made a good start to their relationship, sharing a careful stand of 158.

The application of both men won approval from all-rounder Ben Stokes, who had taken the earlier spotlight with three wickets in five balls.

“Trotty and Cooky gave them nothing and it will stand us in good stead for the Test matches,” said the Durham man.

“The biggest thing for a batsman is time out in the middle. You can do all the training in the nets you want but nothing quite compares to a game and they both did that well.

“Trotty has been great, it is almost like he never left. To see him go out and score some runs, the way he has been known to for England over the last five years, was really good to see.

“It was fantastic for Cooky too.

“He’s been out of the game for a while (this winter) so to come in and look like the one of the best batsman in the world again was great.

“The tempo he played at was fantastic and any bad ball he managed to put it away, which was good to see.”

Published: Tuesday 7th April 2015 by The News Editor

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