Cook reveals changes in batting order

Jonny Bairstow, according to his skipper Alastair Cook, will bat at five below Moeen Ali. Jos Buttler, replacing Ben Duckett, will take the No. 7 slot. The English skipper though was undecided on his bowling make-up in Mohali.

alastair cook

"I think Jonny’s (Bairstow) been outstanding and has settled in that role (wicket-keeper) and done very well," said Alastair Cook.   -  Akhilesh Kumar

England skipper Alastair Cook not only confirmed the changes in the team on the eve of the third Test but also revealed its batting-order.

"Jos (Buttler) is coming in to play and Ben (Duckett) misses out," announced the skipper. But he isn't tempted "to give Jos the gloves back."

"I think Jonny’s (Bairstow) been outstanding and has settled in that role and done very well," he said, "Jonny had a glint in his eye when I said we'd like you to move up to five."

"It gives him more chance to bat. He bats at five and keeps at Yorkshire so he’s used to that role. If everything was ideal, we'd leave him at seven because it gives him a bit more time to recover but this promotion gives him more time to bat with better batters."

About the team's batting, Cook said, "There's a better mix of right and left-handers now, but if people are playing well it makes no difference at all. But when they don't play well, people can jump on that kind of thing."

On the return of paceman Chris Woakes, in place of Stuart Broad, Cook said, "Chris, who was part of that rotation, is definitely in. It's just a question of whether we go with four seamers and two spinners, or three and three again."

Further, Cook mentioned, "Buttler is going to bat at seven and Moeen Ali at four. It's clearly not an ideal circumstance, not having any red-ball (match) practice out here. But sometimes when the pressure's off, you can come out and play and do something special.”

Cook was pleased with his bowlers, particularly the spinners.

"The difference with our spinners since Bangladesh is that they've been able to hit better areas and they've been able to keep the run-rate lower than it was. The spinners were going at four and a half runs an over in Bangladesh on spinning wickets but here with Saqqy’s (Saqlain Mushtaq) help, all four spinners have been able to hit better areas and have a better trajectory on the ball.

"I'm particularly impressed with Rash (Adil Rashid) because he's come in and done incredibly well. I've faced him in the nets since 2009 and we've all known what a fantastic leg-spinner he can be."

"We're finally seeing that he knows he can do it in Test cricket and it's similar to when Chris Woakes came in eight months ago. Then we said we hadn't seen the best of him and now we have and we're kind of seeing the same thing with Rash.

Finally, reflecting on the pitch, Cook said, "I saw it yesterday. It looked quite dry, but they might have watered it overnight. Historically, the stats here are that the one place where seamers tend to get a bit more pace and carry is Mohali. Whether this pitch allows that, I don’t know – we'll have to make that decision."

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