October 22, 2016

Alastair Cook challenges England players

Alastair Cook

Captain Alastair Cook has challenged his England players to perform well in the fourth and final Test against South Africa to “guarantee” their places, reports BBC.

Cook’s team hold an unassailable 2-0 lead but he does not want his players to let their standards drop.

“This side has a long way to go and there’s a huge amount for the guys to play for personally,” he said.

“As long as our attitude is right and people focus on what they can do to help the side then we should be OK.”

Nick Compton, James Taylor and Alex Hales have only played in 12, six and three Tests respectively and Cook wants them to impress before a busy summer that includes three Tests against Sri Lanka and four versus Pakistan.

In an interview with BBC Radio 5 live, Cook added: “Alex Hales got a good 60 in Cape Town and will be desperate to make his mark, as will some others, so they are guaranteed picks for the first Test against Sri Lanka at Headingley.

“Hopefully they can go out and show the world how good they are. What a great stage to do that when you’re 2-0 up in the series.

“It has been a really good tour, we haven’t lost, and we’ve played some really good cricket. Winning in South Africa is another stepping stone but it is not the end of the road for the guys.”

Cook needs 117 more runs to become the first Englishman to score 10,000 in Tests.

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