Nottingham: Alastair Cook has been under tremendous pressure due to a prolonged bad patch since the start of the India series but skipper Joe Root defended his former captain saying that conditions have been tough for the opening.
Cook has totalled 90 in five knocks against India so far at a lowly average of 18 per innings.
"I think we have to be realistic about the surfaces we have been playing on. Throughout the whole summer, they have been very much tailored around seam bowling. With a lot of cloud cover, it seamed around quite a lot and it's obviously swung as well. The hardest point to bat is opening up," Root said.
He also cautioned the media to write off Cook at their own peril.
"He (Cook) is a world-class performer. He has proven that time and time again and actually I would like you to write him off because every time he is written off, he comes back and scores a double hundred," Root said.
"There is no-one with more experience currently in Test cricket than him. So I am sure he will be calling upon all of that going into that game and giving himself the best chance," Root said about Cook, underlining that he would like the opener available for the entire series.
However, there is no clarity on Cook's availability as he is awaiting the arrival of his third child.
On his own form, Root assured that he is one knock away from regaining form. He has totalled 62 runs after his first innings 80 in Birmingham.
"It's one game. Look at the rest of the series. I felt I got a ball that kept quite low and nipped back sharply at the Lord's, chuck a run out in there as well when I felt great at Edgbaston. It's very easy to look at the figures in a short space of time. I know what I'm capable of doing. I don't feel as though I am Bambi on ice or anything."
"I am determined to get things right at Southampton, but you've got to earn the right, you've got to get in and lay a platform to go on and make a big score. Again, you chuck that into some difficult conditions and an Indian side that has performed very well this week.
"If you are realistic about things? which I try to be? I don't think I'm far away from making big scores."
The skipper though pointed out that England still have an advantage with that series' scoreline and need to drive home that advantage starting from the fourth Test in Southampton.
"We are definitely in the driving seat as far as the series goes. We have to keep remembering that. We have got a little bit of time now to go away and reflect on what has been a difficult week.
"But in England, we are a very good side at bouncing back from a tough couple of days, and one thing you can never question about this group of players is the character and the way they can respond to a difficult passage of play. I'm fully expecting the guys to come back to Southampton refreshed, ready to go and we hope to take an opportunity to wrap the series up," he said.