Cricket

'KP and Cook to come good'

2010-08-05 14:27
Andrew Strauss (AP)
England - England captain Andrew Strauss believes it's just a matter of time before batsmen Kevin Pietersen and Alastair Cook are back in the runs again.

England go into the second of a four-Test series against Pakistan at Edgbaston on Friday on the back of a crushing 354-run win in last week's opener at Trent Bridge.

However, the major cloud on the horizon for England is the form of Pietersen, who has gone 22 Test innings without a century.

But Strauss, speaking to reporters at Edgbaston on Thursday, said: "KP has had a bit of a dip but players of that quality will always come through and I've got absolutely no doubt he will come through this.

"It's just a case of when," the opening batsman added.

"He's in a good place mentally, he's been really buoyant this week. He's putting the hard work in and the results will come. Let's hope it's this week."

Cook has made only 79 runs in five innings since his 109 not out against Bangladesh in Dhaka but Strauss said of his opening partner: "As far as Cookie goes, it was only three or four Tests ago he was scoring a hundred against Bangladesh and playing very well in South Africa as well.

"You've got to take a slightly long-term view on batters. People will have a bad Test or a couple of Tests. I've got no concerns about his form at all."

Swing proved Pakistan's undoing at Trent Bridge, with James Anderson taking a match-best 11 wickets for 71 runs and Strauss predicted more of the same at Edgbaston, where the stands at what was the Pavilion End are being rebuilt.

"Here more than Nottingham overhead conditions play a massive part," Strauss said of an Edgbaston ground where England have won 22 out off 44 Tests with eight defeats and 14 draws.

"If it's overcast you are going to get a fair amount of swing, if not it's going to be a good pitch to bat on."

Pakistan have summoned former captain Mohammad Yousuf to their squad in a bid to bolster their top-order batting even though he has played just a couple of domestic Twenty20 matches since being hit with an indefinite ban from international cricket after leading the team on their winless tour of Australia earlier this year.

Yousuf was not due to arrive in England until Thursday - less than a day before the start of the second Test.

"Hopefully, if he does play and he is a bit jet-lagged we can get enough balls in the right area," Strauss said.

When Pakistan were last in England four years ago, Yousuf scored 631 runs in a four-Test series at an average of 90.14 with three hundreds including a double hundred.

"We saw too much of him last time, because he had a great series. His average suggests he's a top-quality Test player."

And Strauss warned against complacency on the back of such a mammoth win at Trent Bridge.

"If for one moment you think you've cracked this game, generally the cricketing gods come down and tell you that you haven't."

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