Alastair Cook’s captaincy has come under pressure for England’s poor performances Down Under © Getty Images
Former England captain Michael Vaughan is of the opinion that having one captain and one coach across the formats is beneficial, and he is right in saying so. India is a perfect example of this theory with Mahendra Singh Dhoni enjoying an exceptional record in all three formats. Devarchit Varma explains why this area is a critical for England going ahead…
The calls for change of guard in the England camp are growing. From all corners, there have been suggestions that by changing the captain as well as the coach England can start their rebuilding process on a full throttle. Battered and bruised, England captain in Tests and One-Day Internationals (ODIs) Alastair Cook finally gave in. After the crushing seven-wicket loss to Australia in the third game of the five-match series, he admitted that he is struggling and perhaps it is time for him to go.
One has to sympathise with Cook. He has lost the Ashes in a humiliating manner, and the defeat in the ODI series has started showing the repercussions on him. He lost the quality chunk of his troops on a tough Australian tour, and his poor run with the bat isn’t enough to help him put up a brave face in front of the world. His team has let him down terribly as well. But all this must not break a player who once displayed tremendous resolution and determination.
England are known for their meticulous planning and carrying an army of support staff to give their players the best possible training and preparation. It is something that not all cricket teams in the international circuit can afford and garner success. England have shown they can win games all around the world in this passion and there is no harm in continuing with the process that has worked for them.
Few seasons back, England appointed three different captains for all three formats. As of today, they have two different captains. It is time for England to reflect if their policy has worked or not. Cook is the captain in Test and One-Day Internationals (ODIs) whereas Stuart Broad is the leader of the pack in the Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is). It is important for England to now concentrate on their leaders and perhaps, appoint only one captain across the formats.
Cook has not only the age factor on his side, but also enough experiencein international cricket. The 29-year-old can easily carry on for another four to five years and there are few cricketers he can look up to for some inspiration. India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the perfect example. No other team in world cricket carries burden of expectations as the Indian team does and the captain understands it perfectly. There are not many accolades that haven’t been won by Dhoni and he could certainly be an inspiration for Cook.
For England, it will be crucial few months going ahead. The team is heading into the rebuilding phase, and the absence of some of their key players will be the biggest factor. At this junction, England doesn’t need a captain but a leader – someone who can look into the smallest of the details related to the team development and someone who also plan the road ahead for them. Cook has all the necessary experience for the job and England need to believe in him. Most importantly, Cook has to believe in his abilities.
Among everyone in the England camp, it was Cook who put his hands up after the Ashes debacle to say that he wants to be a part of England’s revival and buildup. The losses in Australia have certainly proven too harsh for Cook. Perhaps, a break from the environment for a while will help him rejuvenate and get back with full energy.
After his splendid performance in the last Ashes Down Under, Cook had famously said, “Nobody walks over me, ever, and no-one will walk over me, ever.” The England captain perhaps needs to revisit those glory days.
(Devarchit Varma is a reporter with CricketCountry. He can be followed on Twitter @Devarchit)