Home > News >

Alastair Cook ready for fresh start with England

Alastair Cook will be eager to regain the faith of selectors in him as a leader after the whitewash Down under © Getty Images
Alastair Cook will be eager to regain the faith of selectors in him as a leader after the whitewash Down under © Getty Images

London: June 11, 2014

England captain Alastair Cook is set to face an intriguing examination of his leadership skills when a new-look side take the field against Sri Lanka in the first Test against Sri Lanka at Lord’s on Thursday. Following their 5-0 Ashes thrashing in Australia, England are set to field three debutants in Australia-born opener Sam Robson, Barbados-born all-rounder Chris Jordan and Moeen Ali, the batsman and off-spinner who, although of Pakistani descent, was born in Birmingham in the English Midlands.

Meanwhile the fall-out caused by Jonathan Trott’s stress-related illness and Kevin Pietersen’s banishment has led to Gary Ballance, on the back of one Test, being promoted to number three with the experienced Ian Bell taking over from Pietersen at four.

Add in the possibility that England are set to recall fast bowler Liam Plunkett after a seven-year absence and have brought back wicketkeeper Matt Prior, despite concerns over an Achilles injury, and it’s easy to see how Cook, together with returning coach Peter Moores, has his hands full even before he’s considered the strengths of the Sri Lanka side.

However, Cook said Wednesday: “It’s been a pretty heavy load for every England captain. There are always different challenges.” Nevertheless, he added: “It feels like a fresh start. “I’m a pretty open guy, and people have had pretty good chats with me.

“They can walk up to me, rather than me walking up to them. All the newcomers will want to prove they are international players, and they deserve to be here. I’ve been impressed by these guys coming into the dressing room.”

The series starts in the shadow of the ‘Mankad’ run out of England one-day wicketkeeper Jos Buttler but, for all the furore, Cook said he still respected Sri Lanka. “They are incredibly competitive. I think they have always punched above their weight. It’s in their character,” Cook explained. Cook said all-rounder Ben Stokes, coming back from injury, had been left out because “he’s only bowled 30 odd overs, and when he bowled he was a bit rusty”.

Yet he was happy to go with Prior, who was dropped during the Ashes, despite Australia great Shane Warne saying Wednesday that England had missed a trick in not giving a Test debut to Buttler. “I’ve no doubt Jos is an exceptional talent who will play Test cricket for England,” said Cook.

“But we’ve got a guy in Matt Prior who averages over 40 in his Test career. He’s an outstanding batsman who had a tough six months. I’m backing his ability at the moment, and the quality we know he’s got.”

As for Plunkett, resurgent after moving from Durham to Yorkshire, Cook said: “I think he understands how to get the best out of himself — he looks a different guy around the camp from the one I met in 2006. “He’s really relaxed, matured… and certainly knows his cricket. He’s seen the other side. Life isn’t that bad if you aren’t in the England side, but he just wants to prove how good he is.”

South Africa tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Jul 24, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Colombo

India tour of England 2014

Jul 27, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Southampton

Pakistan tour of Sri Lanka, 2014

Aug 6, 2014 (10:00 IST)   at Galle

India tour of England 2014

Aug 7, 2014 (15:30 IST)   at Manchester

South Africa in Zimbabwe, 2014

Aug 9, 2014 (13:30 IST)   at Harare

More

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 24, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 100 runs

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 22, 2014  at Bulawayo

Afghanistan won by 2 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 20, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 8 wkts

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe, 2014

Jul 18, 2014  at Bulawayo

Zimbabwe won by 6 wkts

India tour of England 2014

Jul 17, 2014  at London

India won by 95 runs

Photos

Gallery: India vs England 2nd Test at Lord's

Videos

Alastair Cook jokes about his bowling

10 things you need to know about Zaheer Abbas

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo: Pride at stake for high-flying hosts

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Please help Graeme Pollock, cricket boards and franchises of the world

Cricket at Commonwealth Games and Olympics: Why not?

Afghanistan tour of Zimbabwe 2014 England England vs India England vs India 2014 India India tour of England 2014 India vs England India vs England 2014 Ishant Sharma South Africa South Africa tour of Sri Lanka 2014 Sri Lanka Sri Lanka vs South Africa Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2014 Zimbabwe vs Afghanistan 2014

Afghanistan beat Zimbabwe by 100 runs level series 2-2 at Bulawayo

Mahela Jayawardene’s century at Colombo against South Africa lauded by Kumar Sangakkara, Tom Moody

Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Peter Chingoka steps down

Mahela Jayawardene ton takes Sri Lanka to 305/5 on Day 1 of 2nd Test against Sri Lanka

Virat Kohli’s childhood coach Rajkumar Sharma advises him not to play square of wicket

10 things you need to know about Zaheer Abbas

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo: Pride at stake for high-flying hosts

Mahela Jayawardene at SSC: A tale of 11 tons

Please help Graeme Pollock, cricket boards and franchises of the world

Cricket at Commonwealth Games and Olympics: Why not?

Fan of the Day

Fan Cricket

Fan Cricket

11 Posts | 2 Fans

Brazil vs Netherlands, 3rd place Fifa World Cup 2014 match Video Highlights

Zimbabwe Cricket chairman Peter Chingoka steps down

R Madhavan undergoes dental transformation for Laal

Sri Lanka vs South Africa 2nd Test at Colombo

Decision on poll alliance with JD(U) after talks: Lalu Prasad Yadav

Google street view of galaxies a reality

Aamir Khan to play pehlwan onscreen?

Taqa India Power Ventures pullout won’t affect debt-reducing efforts: Jaypee Group

Mobile services market in India to be $19.2 billion in 2014: Gartner

Also on cricketcountry.com

Play Fantasy Cricket & Win

Cash Daily! Click here