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.”

Pakistan vs Australia in UAE, 2014

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

Sri Lanka tour of India, 2014

Nov 2, 2014 (13:30 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 (13:30 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

Videos

Tendulkar provides teaser on upcoming book

Live Cricket Score Duleep Trophy Central Zone vs South Zone, final at Delhi Day 3: Central Zone lead by 111 runs at the end of Day 3

Pakistan vs Australia Live Cricket Score, 2nd Test at Abu Dhabi Day 2

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Younis Khan’s ban: why the ICC is justified

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

Misbah-ul-Haq becomes fifth Test captain to score century after age of 40

Younis Khan completes 5th Test double century; Pakistan continue to dominate Australia in 2nd Test

Duleep Trophy 2014-15 final: Central Zone 214/4 at stumps; lead by 111 runs

Younis Khan completes 8,000 runs in Test cricket

Misbah ul-Haq gets most runs by a Pakistani captain in Tests

Younis Khan equals Javed Miandad’s record of most 150+ scores by Pakistan batsman

India vs Sri Lanka 2014: Manish Pandey showing signs of fulfilling potential

Yuvraj Singh — have we seen the last of the man who won India three World Cups?

Younis Khan continues piling up records for Pakistan

Mythbusting — the claim that playing for a weaker batting side handicaps a batsman has no basis

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