Alastair Cook to bid adieu to cricket?

Saurabh Roar Pro

By Saurabh, Saurabh is a Roar Pro

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    Former England captain and player Kevin Pietersen launched a scathing attack on England team after defeat in the second Ashes Test at Adelaide.

    Although some of his criticisms may be warranted, his attack on his former captain and teammate, Alastair Cook, left everyone thinking about Cook’s future.

    The leading run-scorer for England was supposed to be main kingpin in the side along with skipper Joe Root. However, he has managed only 60-odd runs in his last four innings, with a highest score of 37.

    KP questioned Cook’s body language, the way he walks off after dismissals. It’s like final few flames of fire, not what we associate with a determined, feisty guy like Cook who puts a price on his wicket.

    His dismissals sadly haven’t helped; the hook and pull shot, which he has been most comfortable, has been his undoing, and that will have alarm bells ringing.

    So is this the end of Cook?

    Probably. Since the 2013-14 whitewash, he hasn’t been the same. Losing the ODI captaincy and having no support from the media didn’t do him any good either, but somehow he seemed to find his mojo while winning the Ashes in 2015 and beating South Africa on their home soil. The captaincy and few big scores here and there saved him from calling his place into question.

    From January 2013, Cook has played 52 innings at an average of 36 with four hundreds and ten fifties. In that time, he has been dismissed 28 times before reaching 20.

    His average at home in that time – which is 45 in 35 matches with four hundreds – is what probably saves him, but it’s sill a stark decline from his return before 2013, in which his 75 innings yielded 3709 runs with 13 hundreds at an average of 54 in overseas Tests.

    If we break that down further, from December 2015 in 26 innings, he has scored 704 runs at an average of 27 with a solitary hundred in India in 2016.

    England batsman Alastair Cook departs after being dismissed by Australian bowler Josh Hazlewood for 7 runs on Day 3 of the First Test match between Australia and England at the Gabba in Brisbane, Saturday, November 25, 2017.

    (AAP Image/Dave Hunt)

    This figure does show a batsman fading away, but we do know Cook knows how to make a grand comeback. After a poor 2010 season, he made 767 runs in the Ashes in 2010-11. Similarly, after losing to Australia down under and Sri Lanka at home in 2014, he won a series against India and regained the urn when Australia toured in England.

    Can he do it again? He very well can if he has the fire within him.

    But with the performances he has put in til now, it’s worth giving a shot to youngsters after the Ashes to start a new era. Keaton Jennings looks promising, then you have Daniel Bell Drummond and young Haseeb Hameed, who impressed everyone in India in the limited opportunities he had.

    The young English side no doubt has the talent but it still rests firmly on its old guns.

    The aggressive approach to batting looks to be the way to go; Mark Stoneman was impressive during the brief time he tried so.

    It’s worth having a crack at Australia’s pace attack with aggressive intent which could probably surprise them and put them off guard. And what better place than the WACA to do it at? The bounce will assist the aggressive play; it’s become more of a batsman’s paradise than the nightmare it used to be.

    If England even want to have a sniff of retaining the Ashes, they need to win the next Test and for that, England’s most prolific batsman and scorer of over 10,000 Tests runs needs to stand up. There would be no better occasion for Alastair Cook to do that on than in his 150th Test.

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    The Crowd Says (2)

    • December 11th 2017 @ 12:34pm
      Pope Paul VII said | December 11th 2017 @ 12:34pm | ! Report

      He just looks on autopilot but not in a good way.

      Maybe he can drop down the order and try his luck against the old ball and tiring bowlers. If England can persuade someone else to open of course.

    • Roar Pro

      December 22nd 2017 @ 2:19am
      Saurabh said | December 22nd 2017 @ 2:19am | ! Report

      After playing 150 matches as an opener don’t see him surrendering the specialized position to someone. The team needs him more than anyone now at top of the order.

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