England delay Cook decision

  • Last Updated: May 27 2014, 13:53 BST

England will leave it late before confirming captain Alastair Cook's return from a groin injury in the third Royal London one-day international against Sri Lanka.

Alastair Cook in the nets at Old Trafford
Alastair Cook in the nets at Old Trafford

Cook, however, appeared to be in no discomfort at Emirates Old Trafford on the eve of the match, initially in a light team training session and then when he batted for an hour in the nets.

He sat out the second match of the series at Chester-le-Street on Sunday, when in his absence under stand-in captain Eoin Morgan England produced a miserable performance as they were bowled out for 99 on the way to a 157-run defeat.

The uncapped Alex Hales was called in as cover for Cook, but in the event Michael Carberry replaced him at the top of the order.

Hales will remain in Manchester until England announce whether to stick with the same squad for the final two matches in the five-match series currently level at 1-1.

James Anderson appears optimistic, but not yet definite, that Cook will be back on Wednesday.

"We'll see how he is in the morning," said England's linchpin seamer.

"He's practised today, so fingers crossed he will be okay."

Whoever takes charge, England know a major improvement on their efforts in the north-east is non-negotiable.

Anderson added: "Obviously, we were very disappointed with an extremely lacklustre performance from us, especially after the first game when we thought we played well at The Oval.

"It was an extremely poor performance ... and what we've done today, and yesterday, is focus on how we're going to put it right on Wednesday.

"It was just one of those days where everything that could go wrong did. Certainly with the bat, we under-performed."

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