Home > Features >

Alastair Cook’s shortcomings could pave way for Stuart Broad to lead England’s ODI team

Alastair Cook (left) and Stuart Broad... Time for a change for England? © Getty Images
Alastair Cook (left) and Stuart Broad… Time for a change for England? © Getty Images

By R Vishal

England captain Alastair Cook’s safety-first approach has invited constant jibes, mostly by Australian commentators and former players who openly admitted to their bias. He has received them in it the commentary box and on social networking sites. His captaincy has come under serious doubt in recent weeks, but one cannot forget that only a year ago Cook had championed his team from a resounding loss at Ahmedabad to an unprecedented 2-1 series win in India, a place where better teams were found wanting in the past.

Now that the dust has finally settled on England’s miseries Down Under; mauled in the Ashes 5-0 by Australia and outplayed in the One-Day Internationals (ODIs) 4-1, Cook finds himself in the toughest phase of his carrier — with both form and leadership. In the wake of the Ashes nightmare, the England and Wales Cricket Board (ECB) has announced that Cook would be ‘rested’ from the limited-overs tour of West Indies later this season. Whether this would turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the Stuart Broad-led team remains to be seen.

Having been England’s best performer spearheading the team, Broad will command respect and can adopt a fresh approach, which is the need of the hour for the team that has hit rock bottom. Pakistan’s World Cup-winning captain and one of the finest all-rounders of the game, Imran Khan, once said, “A captain always has to be a bowler and have an acute sense of how bowling works.” Broad provides England with just the right kind of leader who can take the team forward.

While experts on the game can ramble on about captaincy being a different kettle of fish, Broad’s career has been all about bouncing back from knocks that would have broken many a man, just like it had in the recently concluded Ashes whitewash for England. The problem with the England ODI side has been their stubborn attitude, caught up in the 1980s’ sort of mentality of stabilising at the start of the innings and going hammer and tongs in the ‘death’ overs.

Genuine prospects for the future like Alex Hales have been waiting to make an impact in the shorter format of the game and Cook’s absence should bode well for England to try exciting young talent at the top of the order and to have a settled team by the time the ICC World Cup 2015 approaches. After reaching three of the five World Cup finals played by 1992, the team has more often than not looked like passengers since, having set their priorities on the longer format of the game.

Cook and Ian Bell as an opening pair are undoubtedly a class duo; however, they are not going to spread tremours in the opposition ranks in the shorter format and need to find a core of players who can provide immediate solutions with an eye on the future.

Ben Stokes, Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan and Steven Finn provide England with just the right weapons to steady their ship but the top-order and the void left by Graeme Swann needs to be addressed right away.

What does that bode for Cook’s future in the shorter format? As an opener Cook is one of the finest Test batsmen in the world but England needs a change — in attitude and in leadership; and Stuart Broad could perhaps be the solution, at least in the 50-over format.

(R Vishal is a journalist and an alumni of the Asian College of Journalism. He can be followed on Twitter @vishhell)

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 30, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Abu Dhabi

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Nov 3, 2014 (09:00 IST)   at Khulna

South Africa tour of Australia, 2014

Nov 5, 2014 (14:05 IST)   at Adelaide

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 6, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Ahmedabad

More

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 15, 2014  at Ahmedabad

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Nov 7, 2014  at Bengaluru

Match cancelled

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 30, 2014  at Hyderabad

Match cancelled

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014  at Hamilton

No result

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014  at Dhaka

Bangladesh won by 3 wkts

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 2nd Test: Australia's practice session

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Rohit Sharma gave a fantastic account of himself: Sanjay Bangar

Yuvraj Singh flays media for twisting statements on future in international cricket

India A beat Sri Lanka by 88 runs in tour match; Rohit Sharma, Manish Pandey, Karn Sharma shine

Kevin Pietersen saga: Stuart Broad, James Anderson saddened by bullying claims

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane — who should open for India?

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Bangladesh Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe 2014 Central Zone Duleep Trophy Duleep Trophy 2014-15 India Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka tour of India 2014

West Indies crisis: Trinidad and Tobago condemns West Indies’ pullout from India tour

MS Dhoni told me there’s nothing called ‘lucky’ or ‘unlucky’: Pankaj Singh

All-India PSU T20 Tournament: Oriental Insurance defeat HPCL

Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif in favour of Najam Sethi as ICC President

Justice Mudgal Committee report on IPL spot-fixing to be submitted on November 3

Highest identical scores in both innings of a Test

Younis Khan — perhaps Pakistan’s greatest batsman ever

India A vs Sri Lankans tour match: Players look to make the most of opportunities

Viv Richards: How did he perform against the West Indian quicks?

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Rohit Sharma or Ajinkya Rahane — who should open for India?

Fan of the Day

Niharika Shah

Niharika Shah

678 Posts | 6 Fans

Video Highlights: Younis Khan century during Pakistan vs Australia 1st Test at Dubai

India A vs Sri Lanka: Fringe players look to impress

NGOs pursue education for all

Dance Basanti from Ungli: Put on your dancing shoes and practice the Basanti move!

Weight Loss Tip #59: Eat oranges to lose weight

Sensex surges 150 points in early trade to regain 27,000-mark

PricewaterhouseCoopers partners Google to offer business solutions to clients

Google X Lab working on nanoparticles to help detect diseases early

Priyanka Chopra has the best no make-up selfie on Instagram, think fans!

Lisa Haydon: I slept off midway while watching the original Shaukeen!

International programme in Animal Husbandry

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here