Cook shines at Oval but not enough for England

Posted: Saturday, August 21, 2010 by Sanya Michelangelo in Labels: , , , ,

Alastair came all guns blazing as he looked to save his place in the team. But doesn't he score a ton in almost every series regardless of how many technical faults he has? Alastair is a century maker. Even though his average was 27. 60 in Ashes 2006, he scored 116 in the 3rd Test at Perth. The question is whether he should continue playing for the England team while working on his technique or whether he should go back to county cricket. He was a good batsman when he came into the side but the reason why he hasn't worked on his technique is because England play too much and there is too much pressure while playing for England. I've seen him getting out while playing for Essex, he is barely disappointed. There are lots of batsmen in county cricket who are worse than Cook so he knows he will not be criticized or lose his place. Another reason why he hasn't worked much on his technique is because he tried to make himself suited for one day cricket. When England are playing ODIs, he is out there, playing for Essex, proving a point. He tries to bat with a good strike rate and he has succeeded at that. But Tests are the real game, I'd like to see him play well in the Tests. In the nets, he does work on his technique, bending the knee and all that stuff but obviously, there is pressure and not enough time in International matches to take care of those things. As Michael Atherton in the last Test, Cook was over conscious. But yesterday he was aggressive, with fire in his eyes. He was positive, he was looking to dominate. It's all about the mind. Cook looked so much at ease with batting buddy James Anderson. I enjoyed his innings to a great extent. He was lucky at the start but later, his shots were glorious. It was a hell of a knock.
        In my view, it will be hard for him to improve his technique while playing for England. Dropping him in South Africa would have been ideal. England are very reluctant to drop him. He has never been dropped. I didn't want him to bid adieu to his England career, I wanted him to go back to county and come back soon, better than ever. Of course, he cannot be dropped now, he will play in the 4th Test and the 1st Ashes Test. Others in the reckoning are Michael Carberry and Ravi Bopara. Personally, I'd prefer Carberry but bringing Bopara into the side would not be wrong either. He has played for England in the past, didn't prosper much in the Tests, except against West Indies but his recent 45* off 16 were very impressive.
                                           Lets get back to the ongoing match. To sum it up, this Test has been interesting. Pakistan have played a lot better. I think they dropped only one catch in the 1st innings, dropped by Yousuf. Oval has been known to support batting and spin more than pace. Yet, England were all out for 233 and just been all out for 222 in the 2nd innings. Day 1 and Day 2 belonged to Pakistan and Day 3 belonged to Cook and of course, Pakistan. His century put England ahead in the match but soon the momentum shifted towards Pakistan's side. England lost it all. The match was in their hands when Cook was batting. Collingwood cannot be blamed, he has saved England in crisis quite a few times. KP and Straussy need to score. KP's 80 in the last Test were not classy. I blame Trotty, who took 130 deliveries for his 36 and hit just 4 boundaries with over a hundred dot balls. There are batsmen, who take time to settle and don't score many runs at the start but he never settles. He should have been reminded that it's not Day 5 and England are not looking to draw. You need to score runs. There is no point in occupying the crease without scoring runs. What happened to the Pakistani batsmen who scored 20-30 ball ducks earlier in the series.
Pakistan need 148 to win their first match in the series as England hope for a miraculous win. Anderson, the leading wicket taker of the series, has struck in the 1st over to get rid of Hameed. Cheers!


  1. Nice post! Spot on about Cook. It was clear to see - even before the commentators starting talking about it - that Cook came out to bat with positive intent and lack of fear. To come out fighting with his back against the wall, was exactly the kind of spirit I wanted to see. Much better to go for it, than to be consumed by doubt and play tentatively. I was glad to see it and I think this is exactly the kind of temperament needed if England are to win the ashes. Experience of Aussie conditions is vital too, something that Cook has, as you rightly pointed out.

    As much as I would like to see Carberry given a chance at Lord's, I reckon its a better idea for Cook to have another innings and build on his confidence from that century.

    As much as Bopara has played incredibly well this summer, I don't think bringing him in as an opener would be good for either England or Ravi. I think he struggled immensely with the pressures of being a number 3 last time. I believe he would need time further down the order to bed into the side before being promoted up the order - which is where I think he belongs long term.