Broad: We know Cook is world class

England

Stuart Broad has backed Alastair Cook to find his form again as the team prepare for the first Test against India at Trent Bridge.

Captain Alastair Cook's lagging contribution with the bat remained at the fore fast bowler Stuart Broad's concern on Monday, as England prepared for a challenging five-Test series against India.

Cook, who has not scored a century in the longest format of the game in two dozen innings – and has been particularly poor against Australia and Sri Lanka this year – has been the subject of plenty of criticism.

Former team-mate Kevin Pietersen, cricketer-turned-commentator Geoffrey Boycott and erstwhile Australian leg-spinner Shane Warne have been particularly critical of the left-hander.

Warne's condemnation has arguably been the most publicised, with Cook's captaincy labeled "wrong" and boring" in a recent column for the <i>Daily Telegraph</i>.

"He is obviously worked hard in the nets as Cook does, he's always first in and last out," said Broad. "He likes to hit a lot of balls pre-series and that's no different this week.

"He just needs that change of luck, all cricketers go through it from time to time and it's Cook's turn. We know he's world class, we know he's played over 100 Test matches with the record he's got and there's no doubt that will change for him."

Wednesday will see the first Test will get underway at Trent Bridge, where the Nottingham-born Broad has taken 21 wickets in five matches, including a match-winning first-innings six-for against the Indians in 2011.

The all-rounder's home ground, meanwhile, has brought a solid average of 39.12 on the back of three half-centuries. "The ball hasn't swung here as much but the nicks carry. Slip fielders are in the game. We are well supported here which gives the players a big lift," added Broad.

The veteran Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid have retired since the last time India toured the United Kingdom in 2011. This year's squad sports three uncapped players in seamers Ishwar Pandey and Pankaj Singh – and all-rounder Stuart Binny.

The English, meanwhile, are eager to recover from a recent one-nil series defeat to the Sri Lankans – despite a double ton from the talented Joe Root and fine centuries from the inexperienced Sam Robson and Gary Ballance.

"We lost the series against Sri Lanka but we played a lot of good cricket in that series. We did some brilliant stuff with some debut tons and that sort of thing. The confidence is good coming into this series," concluded Broad.

"Obviously, the last time India were here it was probably the best series we have played for years, but a lot of that team has changed. Some players can take some confidence from that but the majority of players have changed from that series so this is a completely fresh series. We've got to restart and go again."

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