Alastair Cook is a man under severe pressure (and not just off Piers Morgan – more later). Since England’s Ashes victory over Australia last summer they have played seven test matches and have not won any – losing six of them, and seeing that they did not win the last test of the 2013 summer they are now eight tests without a victory!!!!!!!
Under his stewardship this summer they have lost to Sri Lanka at home in a test series for the first time. They may have been a review away from winning the first test and two balls away from saving the second test but they would have expected to win the series comfortably. India are the next visitors to these shores – they are actually already in the country and the Test Series begins this coming Wednesday – 9th July.
The captain has two problems as the start of the five match contest approaches. Firstly his form – Cook has a healthy test average for an opener of 45.90, however he has not hit a century for England since May 2013, a 130 at Headingley against New Zealand. His record since then is only 601 runs in 24 innings at an average of 25.04, he would agree that he must do better. Secondly there are major question marks over his captaincy, as stated earlier there has been a marked decline in England’s performances over the last year, really since their victory in India late 2012. Things seemed to be going fine with the Ashes win last summer, but personally I felt England were not as good as the 3-0 scoreline suggested and this proved to be correct after a shambolic tour of Australia losing 5-0. The fall out from that meant that Kevin Pietersen was ‘retired’ from the England team and Cook’s captaincy credentials were being questioned by KPs friend and twitter enthusiast Piers Morgan with a continuous tirade of social media criticism. Aussie legend, Shane Warne, has for some time been questioning Mr Cook’s leadership of England and the fact he needs to be far less conservative and take more risks. This nit picking means nothing when your team is winning but if as England have been doing ‘not winning’ then you are open to people questioning your ability to do the job.
As we stand, strong character, Cook, is not going to resign, has the backing of the ECB and reportedly the support of the dressing room. He knows more than anyone else that his current malaise and slide will need to be arrested sooner rather than later as his place in the side let alone the captaincy may potentially be taken out of his hands, especially as it has been suggested that his lack of runs are directly related to the fact that he is captaining the side.
Its amazing really Alastair Cook had such a great introduction to his reign as England captain, with the team winning a test series in India for the first time in nearly 28 years, so could the same team on his own patch be the death knell of his time as the skipper and maybe even as a player too. Karma hey!!!!!!!
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