Gooch backs Cook to rediscover England form

Thursday was another difficult day for Alastair Cook but Graham Gooch has backed the England opener to score big again soon.

Graham Gooch had been Alastair Cook's mentor and was England's batting coach during its India tour in 2012.

Graham Gooch has backed Alastair Cook to come out of his Ashes slump and start scoring big runs for England once again.

Cook's highest score in five innings during the series in Australia is 37, and the opener fell for just seven on day one of the third Test in Perth after being trapped lbw by paceman Mitchell Starc, with the tourist going on to post 305-4 thanks to Dawid Malan (110 not out) and Jonny Bairstow (75no).

Gooch: 'Day two crucial for England's Ashes chances'

It continues a worrying run of form for the 32-year-old, leading some - including Kevin Pietersen - to question whether Cook still has the fight for Test cricket.

Cook himself insisted he was up for the battle in his pre-match news conferences, but another failure puts further attention on England's record run scorer in Tests.

However, Gooch – who was previously top of England's batting records – insists Cook is capable of rediscovering top form, and he hopes that will be during the current series.

"He's had no form in this series, he's had five innings with low scores," Gooch told Omnisport, speaking courtesy of Greene King IPA.

"Alastair's been the rock of our batting for a decade, he is a great player, 11,000 runs, his 150th Test, he's having a few bad matches which happens even to the greatest players.

"I have every confidence that at 32 there are more runs left in him yet, we need him to perform in this series if we're going to have a chance of getting back into it. He's having a tough little time but I have no reason to believe that he won't come good in the end."

While Cook retains the support of his former Essex mentor, the same cannot be said for James Vince after another soft dismissal on Thursday.

Vince – who impressed with 83 in the first Test in Brisbane – was again lured into a loose stroke outside off stump, the number three edging Josh Hazlewood to Tim Paine when on 25.

And Gooch is not sure Vince is the man to solve England's search for a number three.

"I think it was a surprise for everyone when he [Vince] got selected," he added.

"They thought that his type of game could be successful in Australia, I am not convinced. He got 20-odd [on day one in Perth], he got one decent score in the first Test, I am not convinced that he has got the game to bat for England at number three long term.

"He might come good, I hope he does, but he's got to tighten up his game. He can't keep getting out in the 30s, we need hundreds, hundreds win you Test matches, not only hundreds but scores in excess of 150, they're the scores we need to win the Ashes.

"I think he's a little bit loose outside off stump, he needs the determination, the concentration, he needs the right attitude to score the runs. And you need to get in there and fight for every ball. When he made 83 he should have gone on to make a big hundred, he got 20-odd today and other low scores in the other matches, starts but he's not capitalised on it.

"You can't afford that in Test matches," Gooch added.

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