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Time for star to shine

Alastair Cook
LONDON: When Alastair Cook does well England tend to do well. He scored 766 runs when the tourists trounced Australia 3-1 in 2010/11. Four years later he managed a mere 246 runs when England were humbled by the hosts 5-0. So to say the opener is vital to any hopes they have of somehow getting back into this series is a bit of an understatement, and it is no surprise that during the two defeats so far he has scored just 62 runs.
Cook needs to find form and fast.
The sight of one of the all-time greats setting his stall at the top of the order and getting in the runs, as he has done so often in the past, is just what Joe Root and the England side want and need.
If he can do that it will take a lot of pressure off both Root — England’s other key batsman — and the brittle, inexperienced middle order.
Perth may no longer be the quickest pitch in the world, but it is still a fast track. Which is no bad thing considering Cook so far this series has looked fine against the Australian pace attack. It is against Nathan Lyon that he has seemed ill at ease. The off-spinner took his wicket twice in Adelaide and is likely to be the main threat again in Perth.
Should Cook be able to nullify him and stay in for more than two sessions then suddenly England can start thinking about posting a score of over 350 — the very least they need to score to have a chance of victory.
Even with more than 10,000 Test runs Cook is perhaps as under-appreciated as he is inelegant at the crease. But now more than ever all talk of his retirement should be hit to the boundary.