Cricket

Alastair Cook to miss England opener

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Cook & Broad both sat out practice with bad backs (©GettyImages)
Cook & Broad both sat out practice with bad backs (©GettyImages).

England captain Alastair Cook will miss England's first warm-up match against the Western Australia Chairman's XI tomorrow with a bad back.

Kevin Pietersen, Graeme Swann and Stuart Broad, who is also suffering from back problems will all be rested and Monty Panesar is out with illness.

Cook is expected to return for the next warm-up match against Hobart next week, but the England coaching staff will be frustrated to have their plans set back by the captain's injury. They will be hoping for Cook to make as speedy a return as possible so that the team can keep gelling.

Although the England captain struggled in the recent test series against Australia, he is expected to return to the heights of the 2010-11 series, where he averaged 127 with the bat.

The Australians did an excellent job of forcing Cook to play on the front foot and caused Cook to make more mistakes. However, his back foot style is more suited to the hard, bouncy pitches of Australia and the Aussies will have a tough task of still keeping him on the front foot as the extra bounce makes it easier to play off the back foot.

Wicket keeper Matt Prior will take over the captaincy for the time being. He told BBC Radio 5 Live that Cook's absence is a precautionary measure and said that Cook "will be back for the next game".

Prior said: "With a nice long build-up phase going into the first Test it was deemed silly to rush him back. He's just having that bit more time to loosen the back off."

Meanwhile, Cook's opposite number Michael Clarke is having back troubles of his own. The Australian has had back issues for a number of years and has missed Australia's entire one-day series of India.

He was back in action domestically though and is expected to play in the test series as normal.

England's warm-up match tomorrow will be at the WACA; a ground England have won at once in their history.

The ground plays host to the third test as well and perhaps a warm-up there will help England to adapt to the playing conditions and will allow for them to know their surroundings when they go there for the real thing on the 13th of December.


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Topics:
England cricket
Australia cricket
Cricket
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