London: Noted cricket author and columnist Scyld Berry has said that opener Alastair Cook will need to fire for England for at least another three to four years, churning out 1,000 Test runs annually. In an article for The Telegraph, Berry in a reference to the forthcoming Ashes encounters, said, “Australia are lining up three bowlers quicker than anything England have. England can retain the Ashes if Cook performs in Australia as he did in 2010-11 – when his aggregate of 766 was the second highest in any series for England.” Berry believes that now that Cook is no longer England captain, he can go back to what he does best..batting. Anderson: AUS look like a really promising team
He believes that Cook’s performance as a batsman has been below par since December 2012, and is the time to reinvent, and suitably work as an “elder statesman”, standing by his successor, Joe Root. Berry says modern England captains returning to the ranks after being divested of leadership, have not rocked the boat of their successors. “One thousand runs per year from Cook, with the emphasis on first-innings centuries, would do more than anything – other than a new strike bowler – to smooth Root’s path,” Berry maintains, and adds that it would be unrealistic to expect Cook to keep doing it for five more years.
Earlier, England pace spearhead James Anderson understands the challenges his side is going to face in Australia, especially against Steven Smith, who is currently in a red-hot form. The world No. 1 batsman finished Australia’s last Test assignment in India with 499 runs in 4 Tests with 3 centuries and consolidated his position as the top-ranked batsman in the longest format.