Tuesday , January 26 2021

England in West Indies: Alastair Cook says that Ben Fox's 'dynamic'

England captain Ben Fox took an average of 69.25 average in his three Test matches
West Indies vs England, first Test
Location: Kensington Oval, Barbados Date: 23-27 January
Coverage: BBC Sport website and live text comment on the app and the Cricket Social

England's Test team had to face a "balancing act" because wicketkeeper Ben Fox has changed "side mobility", former captain Alastair Cook says.

The 25-year-old Fox hit a century against Sri Lanka in the first century in November and impressed the injured sticks of Johnny Beverstone.

Beaverstow, 29, returned with a three-ton batting and he will play as a specialist batsman against the West Indies.

Cook said, "It's very difficult to get a decent amount of specialist batting now."

"Foakes are definitely qualified to play, so it becomes a balanced task to get the team right."

England's highest test run-scorer Cook, after retiring after a series win on India in September, the rise of Fox means that captain Root could not play four seam bowlers and two spinners in the same squad in the same summer last summer.

"The balance of four seamers and two spinners covers all the bases of the West Indies, because if the pitch starts, you will be better," Cook, who is part of BBC coverage in the West Indies, told BBC Radio 5 live.

"But the dynamics of the side coming from the fox and that hundred scoring have changed."

England face the West Indies in the three-Test series, and the first match in Barbados begins on Wednesday 14:00 GMT.

Cook at the root

Cook, 34, said that his successor Root is now "finding his method" as captain and telling his players that they were more positive in defense and defense after losing defeat in the first Test of the last summer at Lord's.

"After the winter where we lost to the Ashes in Australia and then lost to New Zealand, Root came home and knew that he wants to move forward and that's exactly what he did."

"After losing to Pakistan at Lord's, Root told us that we did not worry about how long we had hit for him, how many runs we scored and he always wanted to take a positive choice in our defense.

We were more critical in the second Test at Headingley, and the message was also tied up against India and Sri Lanka.

"He has found his method and people have answered it."

Cook on his captain

After the retirement of Andrew Strauss in Cook 2012, the captain was appointed and England recorded 59 Tests before being suspended in 2017.

However, he said that after the 2013 auction of Australia by Australia in 2013-14, it was not that he knew how to lead it.

"First year, 18 months, find out just what works for you and how to get the best out of the players you get," he said.

"I tried to do everything I did – I was really obscene about what I told the team, when I said, I'm writing a lot of stuff and it was probably forced.

"At the end it was very natural and people responded to being natural and honest and gave me more longevity because I was not so stressed."

Cook on the opener

Keaton Jennings (left) and Rory Burns ready to resume their initial partnership with the West Indies

After Strauss retired, Cook had 12 different opening partners, because England failed to find the top order.

Keaton Jennings, who opened with Cook in 12 Tests, joined Surrey captain Rory Burns in Sri Lanka, and in their series there were 10, 60, 12, 22 and three partnerships in the series, in which England won 3-0.

"I like Keaton Jennings – everyone likes it in the setup because they see a person of a very different level leader who seems to be rough with a lot easier," Cook said.

"I played against England against the England Lions with Rooney Burns and it was very frustrating – he was made captain, who made me wonder, but he really handled it well.

"I was very much impressed with his mental attitude, he was a great deal to play Surrey's representative cricket, and especially after waiting for his opportunity for a long time.

"They seem to have a stand-out pair at the moment to open the batting for England and really get a good run."

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