India need to ‘go for’ Cook, says Ravi Shastri

"If you have the leader under pressure always go for him"

“If you have the leader under pressure always go for him”

Image courtesy of: ESPNcricinfo

Former India all-rounder Ravi Shastri has called on the national team to “go for” England captain Alastair Cook during their upcoming five-Test series, which gets underway on July 9 in Nottingham.

Cook has already been criticised by a host of pundits and former players after his side were beaten 1-0 in the recently concluded Test series against Sri Lanka.

“If you have the leader under pressure always go for him. You need to get stuck in. You have to make the game as tough as you can,” Shastri said. “As an India player they will want this debate to continue.”

Shastri recalled how India did the same thing to David Gower in 1986.

“With David Gower, all we said was don’t let him get runs in the first Test and let the pressure build,” he said. “He lost the captaincy, India won the series.”

Shastri also noted that Cook “is not a natural captain” and should stick to being a specialist batsman.

“Cook is mentally very tough. He’ll break all records for England,” he said. “The question is do you want a captain in Cook who is not playing freely or do you want Cook playing freely as a batsman? That is what happened to Sachin Tendulkar. As captain he felt the pressure was getting to his batting and it was taken away.”

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