Home > Features >

England’s 3-1 win against India: Alastair Cook’s shows a lesson in dignity

Captain-Alastair-Cook-of-England-smiles-at-the-crowd-after-England-won-the-match--222
Alastair Cook went through a nightmarish run of losing seven out of nine Tests before leading his team to a 3-1 win © Getty Images

There had been calls for Alastair Cook’s head following the shock defeat at Lord’s. The English captain had silently fought back, turning the tables on the Indians, and eventually crushing them to an imposing 3-1 defeat. Abhishek Mukherjee lauds the resurgence of the Essex champion.

They had bayed for Alastair Cook’s blood after England had inexplicably succumbed at Lord’s to MS Dhoni’s leg-theory that was perfectly executed by Ishant Sharma. Cook had been verbally ripped apart by Michael Atherton at the podium after the match. There had been calls of replacing him as captain mid-series — and even dropping him. This was the same blue-eyed boy the British media had once marked out as the one who would go past Sachin Tendulkar’s records.

Three Tests later and a month, as England have rubbed the Indian nose to the ground with the margin of defeat getting bigger with every match (266 runs at Southampton; an innings and 54 runs at Old Trafford; and an innings and 244 runs at The Oval) Cook has re-strengthened his stature as English captain. Once again he was called up by Atherton — this time a kinder version — to the podium.

Cook’s demeanour did not change. He was as dignified in defeat as he was in victory. In between, he had scored 95 and 70 not out at Southampton, 17 at Old Trafford, and 79 at The Oval — an aggregate of 261 runs at 87.00. His average for the series read an impressive 49.67, in stark contrast to the 601 runs at 25.04 he had scored in his previous 12 Tests over three series.

It is not easy for an average cricket fan to fathom Cook’s mental strength: England were blown away in the Ashes, and had lost to Sri Lanka at home, and he had performed abysmally with the bat as well (a drop that had started from the home Ashes). Let us, for once, place ourselves in Cook’s shoes: would we have even dreamed of coming back so strongly, both as an individual and a team?

Champions can that do that, and Cook is a champion. You can hold him down, but you cannot keep him down. He will keep bouncing back. He will not sledge you. He will not lose his temper in the process. Instead, his eyes will be more focussed and his jaws clenched, and he will get along with his job with a smile; and emerge victorious; and retain dignity in the process.

Catch all the coverage of India’s tour to England here

 (Abhishek Mukherjee is the Deputy Editor and Cricket Historian at CricketCountry. He blogs here and can be followed on Twitter here.)

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 20, 2014 (14:30 IST)   at Kolkata

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (11:30 IST)   at Dubai

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 22, 2014 (19:00 IST)   at Cuttack

Zimbabwe tour of Bangladesh, 2014

Oct 25, 2014 (09:30 IST)   at Dhaka

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 27, 2014 (03:00 IST)   at Hamilton

More

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 24, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 72 runs

South Africa tour of New Zealand, 2014

Oct 21, 2014  at Mount Maunganui

South Africa won by 6 wkts

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 17, 2014  at Dharamsala

India won by 59 runs

West Indies tour of India, 2014

Oct 14, 2014  at Visakhapatnam

Match cancelled

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

Oct 12, 2014  at Abu Dhabi

Australia won by 1 run

Photos

Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test at Dubai

Videos

Amla feels Proteas more acclimatised to conditions

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs North Zone, semi-final at Mohali Day 4: Naman Ojha out for 40

Live Cricket Score Pakistan vs Australia, 1st Test, Day 4: Openers extend lead on fourth morning

Live Cricket Score Bangladesh vs Zimbabwe, 1st Test Day 1 at Mirpur: Zimbabwe lose Sibanda in first over

World Cup 1992, England vs Pakistan: Three hours of rain changes course of tournament

David Warner’s transformation into a dependable and effervescent batsman

Australia Australia tour of UAE 2014 Australia vs Pakistan Australia vs Pakistan 2014 Duleep Trophy India New Zealand New Zealand vs South Africa New Zealand vs South Africa 2014 Pakistan Pakistan vs Australia Pakistan vs Australia 2014 South Africa South Africa tour of New Zealand 2014 South Africa vs New Zealand South Africa vs New Zealand 2014

Haroon Lorgat expects WICB to sort out issue before South Africa tour

Yasir Shah delighted by Shane Warne’s tweet

Zimbabwe reach 77/2 at lunch against Bangladesh on Day 1 of 1st Test

VVS Laxman: Would love to watch ISL match during my stay in Kolkata

Wasim Bari likely candidate for Pakistan chief selector, team manager

Strangers, Brothers and Cricket— the English novelist CP Snow’s lasting passion for the game

World Cup 1992, England vs Pakistan: Three hours of rain changes course of tournament

David Warner’s transformation into a dependable and effervescent batsman

Pakistan vs Australia 2014: Spin hunt continues for visitors

Sarfaraz Ahmed may have trumped the Akmals as Pakistan’s wicketkeeper-batsman across formats

Fan of the Day

Suraj Gowda

Suraj Gowda

642 Posts | 9 Fans

Virat Kohli's Family Meets Anushka Sharma

अभिनेत्री हुमा कुरैशी ओरिफ्लेम की ब्रांड एंबेसडर

Has Bigg Boss 8 made Karishma Tanna the most hated person?

Pranab Mukherjee returns home after visit to Norway, Finland

Revealed: First look of Amitabh Bachchan-Farhan Akhtar’s Do!

7 reasons why having sex during pregnancy is great for your health

Videocon Infinium Graphite with gesture control feature launched, priced at Rs 10,499

Rupee up 19 paise against dollar in early trade

Twitter introduces Audio Cards to listen to music directly from your timeline

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here