Test futures of some England players are on the line, says Alastair Cook

Former England skipper Alastair Cook has expressed concern about “Test futures” after they lost the first Test against Pakistan at Lord’s. England are presently trailing the two-match series 0-1. “We need to play better,” Cook said in his Sky Sports column. “Test futures are on the line.”

England failed to go past the 200-run mark in the first innings at Lord’s and eventually lost the match by a margin of 9-wickets. Cook expressed disappointment on the performance and the way his team fared.

“It’s never great when you lose, even more so playing the way we did at Lord’s. It’s a frustrating time for us at the moment as a side; we’re not playing well. If you want to play cricket for England, you’ve got to deliver, otherwise we’ll be looking for other employment. That’s the nature of the beast and, fundamentally, we’re not producing out in the middle. But we have to stick together as a group. The last thing you can do is play the blame game, and the trick is now to not carry the negatives from the first Test with us to Headingley. Again, that’s another thing easier said than done. But clearly we are not going to lose every game of cricket ever, it is going to turn around at some stage, and it’s down to us to do that,” the left-handed batsman wrote in the column.

The home side has re-called Keaton Jennings into the squad who has replaced Mark Stoneman. Cook admitted that it would be a tough phase for the opener but added that he should go back to the domestic arena and get runs under his belt.

“It’s tough on Mark Stoneman,” Cook said. “It’s horrible. Playing for England is these guys’ dreams, so it’s not nice seeing people dropped. I spoke to him on Monday; he was obviously disappointed, as you’d expect, but he has to now go away, score runs and look at areas in which he can improve his game.It gives Keaton a great opportunity, and we just need people to grab these opportunities with both hands and to start pushing this side forward, like Jos Buttler and Dom Bess – on debut – did at Lord’s. He is a very level-headed guy and seems very suited to Test level, in terms of his mental approach. He got a hundred on debut, which shows he can play, but then against a good South African side last summer things just didn’t quite go his way,” Cook said.

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