It hasn’t been the easiest eight months for England cricket captain Alastair Cook. Despite a 3-0 Ashes victory over Australia last summer England have toiled, once again getting whitewashed 5-0 by Australia in this winter’s Ashes and losing their first ever test series at home to an average Sri Lanka.
England have currently managed to buck the trend in the recent test series with India, who are equally as weak as England, but questions still remain about Cook’s ability as a captain. So should the Essex batsman continue in the role that he currently occupies?
With results being as they are it is only natural that Cook’s position comes under scrutiny. In the past he has been too negative on the field, struggled with the bat also, and seen his side waste winning positions with cheap batting or lax bowling. The defeat to Australia in last winter’s Ashes saw the pressure hyped on Cook, little if any of this pressure has been removed from his shoulders since.
Two comfortable wins against India recently have given Cook some respite but you can bet on cricket reporters hounding him once again the second he slips up. Cook is going through a barren patch but then so do all cricket players, it is something that requires patience. Being patient with Cook will see him remain in the England fold – something that we all want – instead of taking some time away from the game to rectify his cricketing demons.
Besides, who would you have replace him? The old guard have gone, Kevin Pieterson, Matt Prior and Graeme Swann have all played their last games for their country whilst Jonathan Trott is still not, and may not, be back in the white shirt of England as he tries to recover from a stress related illness. There’s Ian Bell who has often pulled of heroic innings’ for his country and transform games, but is he a leader? Not really, so you are left with Stuart Broad, the T20 captain as the only legitimate candidate. Of the two you’d probably want to keep Cook on.
His captaincy may be far from flawless but his cricket has always been second to none. Cook is arguably the greatest batter England have ever produced; his record 25 centuries for his country is proof of that. In 108 matches Cook has smashed 8,344 runs and it won’t be too long until he surpasses the 8,900 record of Graham Gooch. Cook is a record breaker and more often than not it makes sense to keep a record breaker in the team.
Is Cook impervious to the sack? No, dismissal is still a very realistic scenario for Cook but for the time being it looks like he is safe.