India spin ploy could backfire, says captain Cook ahead of first Test
22:00 GMT, 11 November 2012
In a spin: England have faced a seam diet
Alastair Cook has spoken of the confidence among England’s batsmen going into Thursday’s first Test against India – despite the local tactics of limiting their exposure to spin.
Jonathan Trott became the fifth member of the touring party to score a hundred during the three warm-up games as the four-day match against Haryana ended in a draw. Leg-spinner Amit Mishra, who has won 13 Test caps for India, bowled only 17.1 of his side’s 193.3 overs, claiming he had a cut on his spinning finger.
‘Everyone in the batting unit is feeling confident now,’ said Cook. ‘I don’t know if Mishra was injured or not, but he didn’t bowl many overs. Clearly there has been a message of some kind not to bowl spin. Who knows whether it will backfire on India. Only the next four games will tell us that.’
Stuart Broad bowled in the nets on Sunday for the first time since bruising his left heel eight days ago, but needs two more sessions before he can be declared fit. ‘It feels OK,’ he said afterwards. ‘But maybe it was the adrenaline.’
Up and running: Broad (left) and Finn (right) bowl in the nets on Sunday
Broad was accompanied by Steven Finn, who sent down some practice overs for the third day in a row as he recovers from a thigh strain.
Cook said: ‘It is encouraging to see Stuart and Finny back bowling, but the next few days are vital for them and we must go into that game with a fully fit attack. They have to be 100 per cent. Clearly, we’ve got to be very careful.’
Tim Bresnan is lying in wait for a Test appearance should one of the pair fail to recover in time. He took two wickets on Sunday as Haryana finished on 133 for six.
Graeme Swann has flown back to India after spending a few days at home with his wife and baby, who has been unwell.
Warning: Cook (left) thinks India's plan could backfire
The Indian cricket board have reacted with fury to suggestions that their World Cup semi-final win over Pakistan last year might have been fixed.
The claim appears in Bookie, Gambler, Fixer, Spy – the book by Ed Hawkins serialised by Sportsmail.
BCCI president N Srinivasan said: ‘This is the farthest from the truth. And it’s an insult to the Indian team which worked hard to win.’
Ijaz Butt, who was chairman of the Pakistan CB when the game in question took place, has called for his board to take the issue up with the ICC.