Cook just needs change of luck, declares Broad

Frank Dalleres
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ENGLAND seamer Stuart Broad insists it is only a matter of time before under-fire captain Alastair Cook rediscovers the form that made him a Test fixture in the first place.

Cook will start tomorrow’s first Test against India at Trent Bridge in desperate need of improvement, having gone more than a year without a century in the five-day format.

That slump has threatened his place in the side and his status as captain, proving a significant distraction for the team, though Broad was yesterday at pains to make light of the issue.

“He just needs that change of luck. All cricketers go through it from time to time and it’s Cooky’s turn,” he said.

“We know he’s world class, we know he’s played over 100 Test matches with the record he has got and there’s no doubt that will change for him.

“He has worked hard in the nets, as he does – he’s always first in and last out. He likes to hit a lot of balls pre-series and that’s no different.”

India’s last visit to England in 2011 marked a high point for the hosts, who rose to No1 in the world Test rankings with a whitewash in the four-Test series. That achievement seemed a distant memory as Cook’s men followed a 5-0 Ashes reverse Down Under with a first ever Test series defeat at home to Sri Lanka last month. Yet Broad insists morale is intact.

“We lost against Sri Lanka but we played a lot of good cricket in that series. We did some brilliant stuff with some debut hundreds and that sort of thing,” he added.

“The confidence is good coming into this series. Obviously, the last time India were here it was probably the best series we have played for years, but a lot of that team has changed.

“Some players can take some confidence from that but the majority of players have changed from that series so this is a completely fresh series. We’ve got to restart and go again.”

England have Durham all-rounder Ben Stokes back from injury in a 13-man squad to face India.