Cook not living in the past


England’s recent demolition of India at home will have no bearing when the two teams clash again in a one-day series from Friday, skipper Alastair Cook said.
England blanked Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s men 4-0 in August to take over as the world’s number one Test side and also won the one-dayers 3-0 to hand India one of their worst defeats ever.
Cook, however, refused to take victory for granted against the injury-hit world champions, saying the previous contests in England will count for nothing on Indian soil.
“What’s gone is gone and we are totally off it,” the England captain said on Thursday ahead of the first one-dayer at the Rajiv Gandhi International Stadium in Hyderabad.
“This is a new series and everyone knows how strong India are at home.”
England, who arrived in India on October 4 to acclimatise to local conditions, warmed up for the series by winning both practice matches against Hyderabad teams.
“We have had a good 10 days here so far,” said Cook. “We have practised well and played two warm-up matches and are ready to produce a challenge.”
The tourists won both practice matches, the second on Tuesday by a massive 253 runs after Jonny Bairstow smashed an unbeaten 104 off 53 balls and uncapped leg-spinner Scott Borthwick picked up five wickets.
Cook praised 22-year-old Bairstow, calling him a “special player” who had already made a name for himself after just a solitary one-day international.
But the captain declined to reveal his playing XI, where he may have to choose between the seasoned Kevin Pietersen and Ian Bell for a batting spot.
“This might sound obvious, but my job is to try and pick the best possible side,” said Cook. “As a captain, it’s nice to see that there is competition within the side as well as those who are not in the 15.”