Cook blames ‘toothless’ middle-order batsmen for Ahmedabad trouncing

London: England captain Alastair Cook didn’t mince any words in criticising his batsmen for their nine-wicket thrashing at the hands of India in the first Test match at Ahmedabad.

Only three players can realistically lay claim to being automatic picks for the second Test match following a nine wicket defeat that could only have been avoided if Cook himself had added more to his eventual 176.

Alongside him, Matt Prior and Graeme Swann were the only other players to leave the first Test with any credit as England again failed to get to grips with spin.

A paltry 68 runs between number’s three, four, five and six across eight attempts in the middle tells the story of the game in a nutshell and it is a familiar tale.

“The reason why we struggled in the game is our batting. Especially in the first innings, we didn’t deliver enough runs,” the Daily Mirror quoted Cook, as saying.

“The middle order didn’t score enough runs and everyone’s got to have a look at themselves if we want to take something out of this series. If we’re going to win series out here, everyone in the game has to contribute. There’s absolutely no doubt about that. We need everyone to stick their hands up at certain times,” he added.

“It’s a case of working as hard as we can in the nets, and trusting our method out in the middle. Maybe we didn’t trust our method as well as we could have done,” he said.