Cook sweating on fitness of fast bowlers

Julian Harris
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ENGLAND captain Alastair Cook is still uncertain if he will be able to call on fast bowlers Stuart Broad and Steven Finn for the upcoming Champions Trophy, having seen his team’s attack knocked all over the park at the Ageas Bowl yesterday.

New Zealand ensured victory in the one-day international series by taking a 2-0 lead at Southampton, courtesy of an emphatic 86-run win. Cook’s team conceded 359 runs, the tourists’ highest ever total against England.

“Clearly we’ve been outplayed in these two games,” Cook said.

“We’ve got a very important Champions Trophy coming up and we have to be better than we have been in these two games.”

The captain denied that the absence of Broad and Finn was behind the defeat, yet added that both will face medical assessments today. “We’re not so sure yet [if they’ll be fit enough to return],” Cook said. Both bowlers are out with leg injuries.

The final one-day match against New Zealand is played on Wednesday, while England’s first Champions Trophy match is on Saturday against Australia.

England’s bowling attack, a source of strength in the recent Test win over New Zealand, had a torrid time in batting-friendly conditions.

Jade Dernbach was hit for 87 runs during his 10 overs, taking no wickets, while Tim Bresnan conceded 73 runs during his wicket-free 10 overs.

New Zealand reached 359-3 with Martin Guptill scoring his second century in two one-day matches. His 189 not out is the equal fifth highest one-day score ever.

England’s Jonathan Trott responded to recent criticism of his style by scoring a century, yet saw his side bowled out for 273.

219 – V Sehwag, India v West Indies, December 2011

200 – S Tendulkar, India v S Africa, February 2010

194 – C Coventry, Zimbabwe v Bangladesh, August 2009

194 – S Anwar, Pakistan v India, May 1997

189 – V Richards, West Indies v England, May 1984

189 – M Guptill, New Zealand v England, June 2013

189 – S Jayasuriya, Sri Lanka v India, October 2000