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    Eng captain Cook braced for new rules

    Alastair Cook will lead England in the ODI series against World Champions India in October 2011.

    Alastair Cook will lead England in the ODI series against World Champions India in October 2011. (Getty Images)

    Hyderabad: England captain Alastair Cook said on Wednesday that he hoped to use two practice games ahead of the limited-overs series against India to adjust to new rules introduced by the ICC.

    "We are not quite sure how the rules will be effective in the conditions here," Cook said. "Our two practice games will be useful because I feel the side which can adapt to the rule changes better will have an advantage."

    According to the revised rules for one-day internationals, two new balls will now be used —one from each end.

    A new restriction on the use of powerplays also comes into force. After the mandatory 10-over powerplay at the beginning of the innings, the batting and bowling powerplays of five overs each must be used between the 16th and 40th overs.

    Teams will now have to do without runners for injured batsmen and umpires may give a batsman out 'obstructing the field' if he significantly changes his direction in an attempt to avoid being run out.

    The new rules also allow a bowler more time to attempt a run out of the non-striker before delivery in order to deprive the runner of any unfair advantage.

    "Both our warm-ups are day-night games, which give us a chance to adjust well. The 10 days of preparation we will have ahead of the series will be very useful," said the 26-year-old Cook, who has played in only 36 ODIs for England despite being a mainstay of the Test side.

    England, who arrived in India for their five-match ODI series on Tuesday, plays practice games against two yet-to-be-named sides on October 8 and 11 in Hyderabad.

    It will then play one-day internationals at Hyderabad (Oct 14), New Delhi (Oct 17), Mohali (Oct 20), Mumbai (Oct 23) and Kolkata (Oct 25). The tour culminates with a solitary Twenty20 game in Kolkata (Oct 29).

    Cook said England's 3-0 win over India in a five-game home series last month would not have a bearing on the matches.

    "I don't see any relation between the two series. Historically, India has always been strong at home. It is an extremely tough challenge but we know we can cope with it," Cook said.

    He said India would be formidable despite the absence of several senior players.

    "Their players know the conditions well," he said. "But yes, compared to the past, they are an inexperienced side and the bowling in particular looks depleted in the absence of Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh."

    India selectors have dropped off-spinner Harbhajan in the squad named for the first two ODIs, while pace spearhead Zaheer is among several seniors ruled out, due to injuries suffered on his ankle and hamstring.

    Star batsman Sachin Tendulkar (toe), Virender Sehwag (shoulder), Yuvraj Singh and Rohit Sharma (finger) and Munaf Patel (ankle) are the other prominent players out with injuries.