Captain Cook enters foreign territory

May 5, 2011

Photo by RNLJC&M

It’s been a busy week for The England and Wales Cricket Board. Earlier in the week Andy Flower signed a contract extension that sees him remain in charge of the team on a permanent basis. While the off the field roles had been taken care of, it was only today that England finalised their on-field generals. Andrew Strauss after another successful Ashes campaign remains as Test captain; however it is all change in the one-day arena. Alistair Cook has been awarded the ODI captaincy, while Stuart Broad has been given the task of leading the Twenty20 side.

This puts England in the strange position of having three separate captains all wanting to stamp their authority on each of these teams. With Cook taking control of the ODI’s, we can read a couple of things into this. Firstly, he is obviously thought of very highly by Andy Flower, and the selectors. Cook has been the vice-captain of the Test team for a while now and his big hundreds in the Ashes showed a maturity about his cricket in big games. However, it also proves that with Andrew Strauss stepping down there is a lack of candidates for the job. Cook now comes in to lead a side that he wasn’t even in contention for a month ago during the World Cup. In my opinion your captain needs to be able to cement a place in the side, before he is giving the captaincy.

Cook will also find this side difficult to captain. Even Andrew Strauss who has a commanding presence has found captaining this set of bowlers a challenge. Cook needs a firm hand, especially with the likes of Anderson, Broad, and Swann in the side. As we saw in the World Cup all three of these guys can fly off the handle when things are not going well with ball in hand. England need a strong leader in situations like this to make sure everyone pulls in the same direction, when times are tough. I’m as yet to be convinced Cook is the man to do this.

In terms of Cook’s batting, I believe he has the capabilities to become a sufficient opening batsman in this form of the game. He’s only just coming into the prime of his career and I’m expecting him to add to his solitary hundred that he made at The Rose Bowl against India in 2007. In recent times, Cook has developed new shots, and is someone England can bat around if he anchors the 50 overs.

Stuart Broad’s appointment is an interesting one. We will just have to wait and see how he reacts to the extra responsibility. I suspect it might not be plain sailing for England under Broad, however throughout Broad’s short career he has found ways of being successful when many thought he wouldn’t be.

Andy Flowers decision to sign his contract extension will come as a real relief to England supporters and the ECB. Under Flower’s short reign in charge, England have won back to back Ashes campaigns, as well as being crowned World T20 champions in the Caribbean. A salary of £400,000 is great reward for this achievement.


Add a Comment