Cricket

Cook will captain England against Sri Lanka on May 19.

England's Alastair Cook hits a century in his first game of the season

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England Test captain Alastair Cook hit 105 in Essex took control on day two of their County Championship match against Gloucestershire.

Cook was eventually caught lbw by Jack Taylor, but not before an impressive knock that will leave England fans hopeful ahead of their series against Sri Lanka.

Essex's number three Tom Westley also scored a century, but it is Cook who is likely to take the headlines for the Division Two side.

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Surrey's Jason Roy was a notable inclusion in their Division One contest with Nottinghamshire, but he is yet to put the disappointment of England's T20 World Cup final defeat behind him, managing just 28.

Interesting viewing 

Yorkshire's campaign will make the most interesting viewing for England fans, but they do not bowl a ball until April 17. David Willey will undertake his first season with the White Rose among other familiar faces including Adil Rashid, Liam Plunkett, Gary Ballance and Jonny Bairstow.

They are overwhelming favourites to take the Division One title, and they will be hoping some of England's one-day stars can enjoy a break from international duty while the Tests are going on. Joe Root, however, is being rested after a gruelling year of Tests and one-days for the Three Lions.

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James Anderson has been cleared by the England and Wales Cricket Board to play for newly-promoted Lancashire when they get their season underway against Notts.

Cook hitting peak form 

It will no doubt be frustrating for Essex that Cook looks in such good nick when he will soon be departing for the national camp. All the counties will be conscious that they need to make the most of their upcoming fixtures, as England's stars will not be gracing the County Championship for long.

Essex v Gloucestershire - Specsavers County Championship - Division Two

In fact, Eoin Morgan and Joss Buttler will not be representing their counties at all before the first Test against Sri Lanka.

Essex can be thankful then, that Cook has been made available for their first four matches, as they vie with Sussex and Worcestershire for promotion.

Will England beat Sri Lanka at Headingley? Have your say in the comments!

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Topics:
Sri Lanka cricket
Cricket
Kevin Pietersen
England cricket

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