Home > Features >

Alastair Cook — Only way to stop Shane Warne’s criticism is by adopting attacking strategy

Alastair-Cook-of-England-leads-his-team-out-during-day-one-of-the-1st-Investec-Ashes-Test-match
Pressure mounts on Alastair Cook, whose England team has now lost six of their last seven Tests © Getty Images

Alastair Cook has had to face criticisms about his captaincy from many former cricketers. Shane Warne has been made out to be his harshest critic. The England captain has been affected by the Australian great’s constant passing of judgment against him. Shrikant Shankar believes the only way to stop Warne’s criticisms is for Cook to adopt a different strategy to his captaincy and his game.

Being an international captain always bring about its challenges. Being critiqued by former pros comes with the territory. One could face criticism even while winning. So, when a captain losses regularly, criticism is certainly expected. Alastair Cook has faced a lot of criticism regarding his England captaincy over the past one year. Australian spin legend Shane Warne has been made out to be his harshest critic — if former cricketers are considered as Piers Morgan is not one.

Cook’s record reads six losses in the last seven Tests as England captain. While they were trounced by Australia, quite surprisingly, 5-0 in the Ashes 2013-14 away, a 1-0 series loss against Sri Lanka at home was unexpected to say the least. Both the Tests in the series almost went the full distance and Sri Lanka won only two days out of a total 10. England could and should have won both Tests. In the first Test at Lord’s, Cook’s delayed declaration brought about a pulsating draw. His non-attacking tactics on Day Four in Leeds allowed Sri Lanka to get to a stronghold, which they didn’t cease.

Warne has been a critique of Cook’s captaincy even when England won the Ashes 2013 3-0. Back then it didn’t seem to bother him much. The thrashing against Australia Down Under and the defeat against Sri Lanka have not helped Cook. He even said that “something needs to be done” about Warne’s constant criticisms against him. But merely complaining about a former pro in the media is not going to stop the criticisms, it might just increase. Warne did just that as he called Cook’s captaincy at Headingley as one of the worst he has seen on a single day in international cricket.

From ‘boring’ Cook’s captaincy has become ‘worst’. Cook has been accused of being highly defensive and not having a tactical nous as captain. In his column for The Telegraph, Warne wrote that if Cook was not sure of what to do tactically, then he should take an aggressive approach, not a negative one. And if Cook does so, he will not be far away from achieving success. Now Cook has a chance to change the critics’ opinions with a five-match Test series against India. His records against India have been very impressive, but his current form has been woeful.

While he still averages a good 45.90 [for an opener], his strike-rate is a mediocre 46.99. Even in his batting Cook has not been very aggressive. No one can predict what the final outcome of the series between England and India will be. The last time the two sides met in a Test series, it was England who came out trumps 2-1. But as this series is about to begin, it is MS Dhoni, who’s captaincy credentials which have been elevated, not Cook’s.

Adopting an attacking strategy is not a definite route to success, but it is better to go down swinging than to not swing at all. Cook has to take such criticisms with a pinch of salt and try to change things. The only way to stop or reduce Warne’s criticisms is to adopt an attacking strategy — as a captain and as a batsman.

(Shrikant Shankar is a writer/reporter at CricketCountry.com. Previously he has done audio commentary for various matches involving India, Indian Premier League and Champions League Twenty20 for ESPNSTAR.com. You can follow him on Twitter @Shrikant_23)

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 24, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Glenelg, Adelaide

Pakistan vs New Zealand in UAE, 2014

Nov 26, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Sharjah

India tour of Australia 2014, Practice matches

Nov 28, 2014 (05:29 IST)   at Adelaide

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 28, 2014 (12:00 IST)   at Dhaka

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 29, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

More

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 124 runs

England tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 26, 2014  at Colombo

Sri Lanka won by 25 runs

Hong Kong tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Nov 24, 2014  at Colombo

Hong Kong won by 2 wkts

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Chittagong

Bangladesh won by 68 runs

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 23, 2014  at Sydney

Australia won by 2 wickets (D/L method)

Photos

Phil Hughes suffers head injury: In photos

Videos

AB de Villiers: Disappointed with defeat in Australia

Sachin Tendulkar express shock on Phillip Hughes’ death

Chennai Super Kings (CSK) must be disqualified, says Supreme Court

Virat Kohli mourns Phil Hughes’ death

Phil Hughes passes away: Twitter reactions

Australia Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 England India India tour of Australia 2014-15 Pakistan Phil Hughes head injury South Africa Sri Lanka Zimbabwe Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh 2014 Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh Zimbabwe vs Bangladesh 2014

Phillip Hughes’ death: ICC offers condolences

Former ICC President advises PCB to not rush with Mohammad Aamer’s return to Pakistan team

Phillip Hughes death ‘freakish accident’, says doctor

Phillip Hughes dies after being hit by bouncer during Sheffield Shield clash in Sydney

Phillip Hughes death reignites age-old safety debate

Phillip Hughes: Rest in peace

Moeen Ali becomes third fastest centurion for England in ODIs

Ishant Sharma — Is his current ODI form good enough to earn him a place in ICC World Cup 2015 squad?

The birth of Day Night cricket matches

Phillip Hughes head injury: Are helmets making batsmen complacent?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

682 Posts | 6 Fans

Video: Phil Hughes suffers head injury, collapses on field during New South Wales vs South Australia tie

Bigg Boss: Hot Pakistani model Veena Malik and husband arrested on blasphemy charges

மணப்பெண் அழகு சரிபார்ப்பு பட்டியல் – உங்கள் திருமணத்திற்கு ஒரு மாதத்திற்கு முன் என்ன செய்ய வேண்டும்

Bigg Boss 8: Is Gautam Gulati out of the house?

More broadband connections to boost GDP growth in Asia Pacific: GSMA

Scoop: Is Sid Mallya really gay? Watch video to find out!

Microsoft Lumia 535: First non-Nokia low budget Windows smartphone set to be launched today

रितेश-जेनेलिया देशमुख के घर पुत्ररत्न का हुआ जन्म

India is becoming our largest overseas market, Xiaomi CEO Lei Jun says

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here