Cook’s Last Test As Captain?

2-1 up. India utterly broken; plenty of runs at Southampton… “Role on Australia!”. Etc.

Let’s start this off by stating that England will probably win this Test. India don’t win Tests away from home very often, let alone get series’ results – and make no mistake, a drawn series here would be a huge result for a young Indian side.

However the big picture still doesn’t add up for Cook. By my reckoning this is the most likely Test for a captaincy change since the loss to Sri Lanka, and it feels almost as likely for it as the final Test of the drubbing Down Under did. If India manage to summon the spirit they showed just two Tests ago, and England again fold under pressure, I think it *will* be Cook’s last.

The sacking might not come immediately. In fact at this stage I would imagine it probably wouldn’t – the ECB have invested a fair amount in Cook, and a 2-2 draw is poor – but not necessarily that poor.

However what then comes next would be next to insurmountable for any England captain, let alone a man of Cook’s abilities. Even Cook’s best form still isn’t really suited to one day cricket. Even if he scores lots of runs in the World Cup, he’ll score them at a rate too slowly to be match-winning; and possibly at a rate which is match-losing. His captaincy won’t defy expectations in the field; his off-the-cuff intuition for the game is one of his weakest points. He doesn’t react naturally to things which deviate from the set plan, and the bowling attack at his disposal is going to be pretty poor – Anderson and Broad can only bowl 40% of the overs in ODI cricket.

If England have a nightmare World Cup – and I cannot remember the last time they had anything else, Cook will surely be removed from his post for the 50 over format with immediate effect. If they’re considering his role in ODIs, they will surely also cast a long glance at his record in Tests – which could theoretically look like this:

  • No Test centuries for 33 innings
  • Three Test series without victory, including hosting two ‘weak’ subcontinental sides
  • Complete disintegration of Strauss’s successful side

This is why the Oval could be Cook’s final act as Test captain. So it is now over to you, India. All you have to do is turn up.

English Test Century Makers since May 2013

  1. Sam Robson
  2. Gary Ballance
  3. Joe Root
  4. Ian Bell
  5. Jos Buttler
  6. Moeen Ali
  7. Ben Stokes
  8. Kevin Pietersen

About wrongunatlongon

I'll muse on various subjects, mainly involving willow, leather and grass. My natural instincts is to heap as many compound adjectives as I can to sporting natterings. If you like, then feel free to link :)
This entry was posted in International Cricket, Miscellaneous Cricketing Thoughts and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Cook’s Last Test As Captain?

  1. Dmitri Old says:

    I have a feeling, and that is all it is, that Cook will be rested from the ODI squad for the India series, and Morgan will be captain. This may be the exit gateway for Cook to give up the captaincy of the ODI team, especially if Hales comes in and does really well.

    This may be me wishing on a star. Because the other side of me thinks he’s attached to the captaincy of the two main formats like baranacle links to a hull of a ship. Lawrence Booth on TCW last week said Hales in the team is “non-negotiable”. Knowing us, we’ll make him bat three and drop Ballance.

    England will win at The Oval if the weather is OK.

    • I don’t think he’s played enough cricket or scored enough runs this summer to be rested, and if England are serious about this World Cup, he’s got to play every game he’s fit until now and then. If he’s rested at this stage it is an admission that he’s not needed. Also, India at home in August/September strikes me as pretty winnable and a good chance for runs; ergo he’ll want to be there I’d have thought.

      The crossover between the formats is an odd one. Imagine he wins the World Cup, then loses the next two Test series. We could theoretically have the scenario where people think he’s the stand out ODI captain, yet are calling for his head in Tests.

      Also, Morgan: Morgan = Middlesex = Captaincy material? I have never seen much from him to suggest natural leader. I know he’s done it on occasion, and is regularly trumpeted for the role. I just don’t really get why. If his record in ODIs makes him a stand out candidate, surely Bell’s at Test level more than does the same.

Any thoughts? Reply here...

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s