Mumbai Test: Alastair Cook looks to repeat Rajkot show against India

Updated: Dec 08, 2016, 11:55 IST | Ajit Bezbaruah |

The pitch has always been a serious point of discussion in this series. Now, with the series already out of their grasp, all England can do here is play some good, solid, aggressive cricket for a comeback and hope to restore parity in the last Test

Trevor Bayliss
Trevor Bayliss

As the England team were settling down for their afternoon practice session at Wankhede yesterday, coach Trevor Bayliss and his assistant Paul Farbrace walked up to have a close look of the 22-yard on offer, even as the team members were loosening up on the eve of the fourth Test against India starting today.

Farbrace measured the good length area with his feet while Bayliss went down on his knees to have a close look. Farbrace then marked the short of length area too. They had another close look, before getting involved in a discussion when captain Alastair Cook joined them, albeit briefly.

Pitch, a problem for England
The pitch has always been a serious point of discussion in this series. Now, with the series already out of their grasp, all England can do here is play some good, solid, aggressive cricket for a comeback and hope to restore parity in the last Test.

England skipper Alastair Cook (centre) speaks to his team during a practice session on the eve of the fourth Test match against India at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai yesterday. Pic/Suresh Karkera
England skipper Alastair Cook (centre) speaks to his team during a practice session on the eve of the fourth Test match against India at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai yesterday. Pic/Suresh Karkera

But all is not well in the English camp. Their approach and over indulgence on the pitch have come in for severe criticism from many quarters. Now with Haseeb Hameed out and Stuart Broad doubtful because of injury, England find themselves in a desperate situation to draw inspiration from somewhere or someone to make a match of it here.

Except for Rajkot in the first Test, England haven't had anything substantial to show in the next two matches. There have been no real demons on the wickets they have played so far and in Mohali, England went down in four days despite batting first. Bayliss is definitely unhappy in this sudden change of attitude in the team and Cook is aware of that.

"We chatted after Mohali and as part of the leadership group. We discussed how we wanted to play and what had happened after the first Test. We have to take the second innings of Vizag out of the equation (when we looked to bat out for a draw). "And I do wonder if that tied us down in the third Test. There was a hangover and we went back into our shell," Cook admitted.

'Around 3.5 runs per over'
"It was a clear message we want more intent. The team responded to something similar in his (Bayliss) first game in Cardiff during 2015 Ashes Test. Hopefully, we go back to that level. Rajkot was our blueprint, where we scored at around 3.5 runs per over, over 100 runs per session, and that was the intent we are looking at. It wasn't Trevor (Bayliss) saying, I was part of the conversation," the English skipper added.

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