England expect Cook to return

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According to fast bowler Stuart Broad England expect Alastair Cook to return in time to lead the team in the first Test against Bangladesh in Chittagong.

Cook had been in Bangladesh with the rest of the team but returned to England for the birth of his second child.

Alice Hunt, Cook’s wife, is due to give birth soon but the ECB’s powers do not extend to controlling child birth and as such they are unsure exactly when the skipper will return.

Broad told reporters in Chittagong: “As far as we know he’s coming back for the Test.

“I spoke to him today a little bit and he seems very confident he’ll be coming back.

“Obviously family comes first, so if anything happens back there I’m sure he’ll stay with his wife and take care of things there.

“I’m sure he’ll be keen to be at the toss on Thursday morning.”

Ben Duckett appears to be in pole position to partner Cook up front after an innings of 59 off 63 balls in the warm up game, his main opposition for the place is fellow new boy Haseeb Hameed who made 16 against the BCB XI.

The seamer praised praised Duckett’s ability to keep scoring and his commitment to his game plan.

Broad commented: “He’s a hugely impressive player. I bowled to him in the nets yesterday.

“He scores in slightly different areas. He’s quite awkward to bowl to and he sticks to his game plan.

“He’s had such a brilliant breakthrough year both in red-ball and white-ball cricket domestically and he’s been brilliant in Bangladesh so far. So his confidence is very high.”

Broad was also impressed by Hameed though: “Haseeb has a really nice calm aura about him when he’s practicing, and certainly in the middle.

“He knows his game plan for such a young guy, and has been hugely impressive in the conditions so far.

“We are not sure when Cooky comes back, and we are not sure what the side will be for Thursday, so it’s a great opportunity for everyone to impress.”

Should Cook not return in time to play in the first Test it is expected that Joe Root will skipper the England team in his place.

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