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Cook believes it'll be 'incredibly tough' to beat India at home

Last updated on: October 4, 2011 17:16 IST

Cook believes it'll be 'incredibly tough' to beat India at home

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England captain Alastair Cook says said it will be "incredibly tough" to beat India in their own backyard, but feels his players have the ability to do the job.

An injury-ravaged India was hammered by England in both the Test and the One-day series, but Cook says it is different ball game when India plays on home soil.

"I certainly think we can beat India. It will be incredibly tough. We need everyone to be playing very well," Cook said at Heathrow Airport, ahead of his side's departure for India.

The five-match series will begin in Hyderabad on October 14. England will also plays a one-off Twenty20 against India on October 29.


Image: England captain Alastair Cook at a media briefing in London prior to the team's departure to India

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'With this squad I think we can do something really special'

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Cook said India will enjoy crowd support, but his players have it in them to emerge triumphant.

"We all know what the One-day crowds are like over there. They love their cricket.

"Delivering our skills when 50,000 or 60,000 people are screaming, and when balls are flying all over the place, will also be a key factor, but, certainly, with this squad I think we can do something really special," he said.

England will be without the pace duo of James Anderson, who is rested, and Stuart Broad, who is injured.


Image: The England team poses for a photograph before departure for India

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Cook defends Anderson against Gul's tampering claims

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Meanwhile, Cook rubbished Pakistan pacer Umar Gul's claim that English pacers Anderson and Broad were involved in ball tampering.

Gul had claimed on Sunday that he saw Anderson tampering with the ball during Pakistan's 2010 tour of England and that Broad did the same in the last Ashes series in Australia.

Cook put up a stout defence of his bowlers and said Gul should have approached the authorities, if he had seen such a thing.

"We certainly haven't tampered with the ball and if he did have any complaints he should have gone to the ICC over that," Cook said.

"I saw Anderson do it last year when we went to England. Then in the Ashes series Stuart Broad was seen roughing up the ball with his boots. All these methods are part and parcel of the game to obtain reverse swing with the old ball," Gul had said.


Image: James Anderson

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'It has been a bit of a mountain out of a molehill'

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Gul, reportedly, later tried to play down his remarks.

"I was explaining that the ball gets scratched when it is thrown against the rough surface or hits the advertisement boards along the boundary rope. In this manner, I said, every bowler can be accused of doing it," he told the media in Pakistan.

Cook felt that matter should end now.

"I think he has almost said himself that it has been a bit of a mountain out of a molehill," the England captain said.

Gul's comments came barely a few days after Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar wrote in his autobiography that he had regularly tampered with the ball during his career.


Image: Umar Gul

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