Cook’s England ODI side (“CEODIs”?) had an ethos. It was the “laptop approach” ethos, which is just about the least glamourous ethos there is, but, you can say what you like about the tenets of National Socialism, Dude, at least it’s an ethos. The ethos demanded discipline, steady accumulation and an almost clinical obsession with following the ethos. It required Jonathan Trott.
For Cook’s England record can be split into two categories; avec Trott and sans Trott. Trott played 39 matches under Cook, averaging an impressive 49.72, at a less impressive strike rate of 76.62. England under Cook, with Trott in the side, won 23 of their 36 matches (64%). Without Trott, Cook’s England won just 13 of 33 games (39%). He didn’t score quick runs, but he at least scored runs, and his donkey work freed up others to express themselves. England cricket’s answer to Claude Makelele; the side didn’t work as well without him and couldn’t cope when he was no longer on the scene.
Alternatively, CEODIs might be summed up more figuratively by my completely hunch-based assertion that they were either pretty good if there were less than 450 runs in a match, mediocre with around 500 scored, or utterly and shamefully woeful when there were 550 plus. At a time when other sides were making the most of rule changes and batsmen friendly pitches to rack up more regular scores of 300+ than ever before, this probably isn’t the best way to go about trying to win a World Cup.
When faced with the possibility of getting inevitably knocked out the moment a side hit above 280 against us, this was a relatively simple decision. Cook’s own form was awful, terrible, a scourge and an embarrassment. Even at his best, though, he isn’t suited to this format. Barring disaster, I would be surprised if he plays another ODI match…you don’t take a Pomerian bowling.
Obviously it would be remiss to fail to point out, at the very least as a footnote, the absolutely shambolic decision-making which has left us in this mess 6 weeks from the World Cup, which was frankly obvious in both hind and foresight to everyone except for Paul Downton and, well, Peter Moores every other day.
I have been left frustrated, angry, and in no small part completely turned off English cricket by these parasites. Cook has taken a significant amount of flak which might have been better aimed at the likes of Downton and chums, and in this respect the split means nothing. What are you saying, ECB lackeys? When you get divorced you turn in your library card? You get a new license? You stop being Jewish?!
Nope, Downton et al are utterly responsible for this reprehensible shambles. However, I do not do seething and rational contempt as well as either Dmitri or The Full Toss – all I do is insert irrelevant quotes from The Big Lebowski – so if you want a proper footnote, go there. I can get you a toe by 3 o’clock this afternoon… with nail polish. These fucking amateurs…