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'Beating India in India is a tough ask'

| October 3, 2011, 10:25 PM IST

London: England ODI captain Alastair Cook said it will be "incredibly tough" to beat India in their own backyard, but feels his players have the ability to do the job.

An injury-ravaged India were hammered by England in both the Test and the one-day series earlier this year, but Cook says it is a different ball game when India play on home soil.

"I certainly think we can beat India. It will be incredibly tough. We need everyone to be playing very well," Cook told reporters at the Heathrow Airport, ahead of his side's departure for India on Monday.

The five-match series will begin in Hyderabad on October 14. England will also play a one-off Twenty20 against India on October 29.

Cook said India would enjoy the crowd support, but his players have it in them to down India.

"We all know what the one-day crowds are like over there."

"They love their cricket. Delivering our skills when 50,000 or 60,000 people are screaming and when balls are flying all over the place will also be a key factor, but certainly with this squad I think we can do something really special," he said.

England will be without the pace duo of James Anderson, who has been rested, and Stuart Broad, who is injured.

Meanwhile, Cook rubbished Pakistan pacer Umar Gul's claim that Anderson and Broad were involved in ball-tampering.

Gul had claimed on Sunday that he saw Anderson tampering with the ball during Pakistan's 2010 tour of England and that Broad did the same in the last Ashes series in Australia.

Cook put up a stout defence of his bowlers and said Gul should have approached the authorities, if he had seen such a thing.

"We certainly haven't tampered with the ball and if he did have any complaints, he should have gone to the ICC over that," Cook said.

"I saw Anderson do it last year when we went to England," Gul had said.

"Then in the Ashes series Stuart Broad was seen roughing up the ball with his boots. All these methods are part and parcel of the game to obtain reverse swing with the old ball."

Gul, reportedly, later tried to play down his remarks.

"I was explaining that the ball gets scratched when it is thrown against the rough surface or hits the advertisement boards along the boundary rope. In this manner, I said, every bowler can be accused of doing it," he told the media in Pakistan.

Cook felt that matter should end now.

"I think he has almost said himself that it has been a bit of a mountain out of a molehill," the England captain said.

Gul's comments came barely a few days after Pakistan paceman Shoaib Akhtar wrote in his autobiography that he had regularly tampered with the ball during his career.

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Team Rankings

Rank Team Points Rating
1 India 5046 120
2 Australia 4320 108
3 England 5253 105
4 New Zealand 3449 105
5 South Africa 3537 98
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Rank Team Points Rating
1 England 6967 124
2 India 7939 118
3 New Zealand 5347 116
4 South Africa 5442 111
5 Australia 5854 110
see more
Rank Team Points Rating
1 Pakistan 8926 270
2 Australia 6986 269
3 England 6095 265
4 India 12141 264
5 South Africa 5248 262
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