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England will ignore critics and concentrate on task in hand

Alastair Cook's England have no intention of wasting energy or concentration ahead of the second Test against India which starts in Mumbai today fretting about media criticism following their defeat in Ahmedabad.

Cook, on his first tour as permanent Test captain, was at pains to stress that the opinions of experts, former players and other pundits will not distract his team from the important business of trying to level the four-match series.

A near full XI of English cricket luminaries have lined up, since the tourists lost by nine wickets on Monday, with varied critiques – some directed at individuals, others the collective – for what went wrong at the Sardar Patel Stadium.

Cook made sure he could receive only praise, for his defiant and memorable second-innings 176 in a losing cause but Stuart Broad – he felt "under the weather" and had to miss training yesterday – became embroiled in an exchange of views with Ian Botham on Twitter, after he suggested, in his guise as a broadcast pundit, that the vice-captain should be dropped.

Jonathan Trott, part of a misfiring middle order who could muster only 68 runs in eight innings between them in the first Test, was also singled out in some quarters.

Cook insists that neither he nor his team-mates have any gripes with forthright views expressed in print or vision, because they are part of the game, and something international players need to be able to handle.

"That's what the media is," he said. "You know as players that if you perform well you get praised; if you perform badly, there's criticism. That is one of the challenges."

Cook, however, does take issue with suggestions of perceived impunity in the consistency of selection which England prize highly and was associated with an era of conspicuous success before their seven Test defeats this year.

"I disagree wholeheartedly with that. I think that's someone just speculating and throwing a comment out there because they want to. That's not true."

He has no worries either that any of his players may be distracted by public criticism. He added: "Not really. I'm concerned about what happened in the last game. I'm concerned we learn from that; I'm concerned that we improve on the field.

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