Alastair Cook relaxed over Stuart Broad form

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The Independent Online

England have several problems to address if they are to fight back in the NatWest Series - but captain Alastair Cook is not about to panic yet about Stuart Broad's bowling form.

Broad was wicketless again at Lord's - he has yet to strike in three 50-over fixtures against Sri Lanka so far - having learned before start of play yesterday that he must also fork out 50% of his match fee for losing his temper at Headingley.

Broad will head for his home ground of Trent Bridge on Wednesday nursing series figures of none for 154.

But after England's six-wicket defeat at HQ, centurion Cook said of the fast bowler's barren run: "I think it's just one of those things."

Cook saw enough in Broad's efforts - particularly when bowling to man-of-the-match Dinesh Chandimal (105no) - to help him keep the faith.

"In a couple of overs when he was bowling aggressively at the guy who got a hundred, he hit the gloves and got the ball to bounce up.

"He had a short-leg in, and they just kept avoiding him.

"At the moment it's not quite going for Broady, a bit like the Test matches.

"But this is what cricket does, and if he gets five-for next time on his home ground it will be welcome."

As for Broad's financial penalty from International Cricket Council match referee Alan Hurst in Leeds, it seems both bowler and captain have accepted he was at fault for apparently swearing at umpire Billy Bowden over a not-out lbw decision.

"He overstepped the mark," said Cook.

"But when he bowled aggressively he made it uncomfortable - that's what Stuart does well.

"Broady's always played that way. That's part of what's made him get so far in the game so quickly.

"Occasionally he has overstepped the mark. But when you're wrong you're wrong, you put your hands up - and he admitted that."

Broad's woes are not the only spot of bother for England at present following yesterday's six-wicket defeat.

Their critics also point to natural accumulators Cook and Jonathan Trott's problematic co-existence at numbers one and three in a limited-overs batting line-up - while there is also the question of whether an extra spin option may serve them better in the bowling attack.

"We're going to review this game, like we always do, and we'll try to pick the best side to win the game," said Cook, looking forward to Nottingham.

"If it's going to fly through we want four quicks. We're happy with that, but we can change that side."