Cook to resign as Captain?

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Post by Hoggy_Bear on Sun 19 Jan 2014, 12:52 pm

According to this report in the Guardian, Alistair Cook has given a broad hint that he is considering stepping down as England captain:
http://www.theguardian.com/sport/2014/jan/19/alastair-cook-may-quit-england-odi-captain

The headline suggests that he only means as ODI skipper, but the article hints that he is thinking of stepping as test skipper as well.
Should he go?
Should he only resign the ODI captaincy, or both?
If he does step down who should replace him?

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Post by Sangakkara on Sun 19 Jan 2014, 1:19 pm

Just seen this on Sky Sports News. He looked completely defeated. No surprise given that he has been completely defeated.

Sky seem to think he means the one day captaincy only, with Morgan the only choice as new captain. Fair comment.

I don't think Cook should resign as Test captain. I think he should have the chance to build his own team. Cook is still a top player and can still, I believe, lead a new, younger team by example. He needs to get home, get a bit of R&R, and then start some hard work on his form and the future of the England cricket team. I don't see any other player in the current squad with captaincy potential, unless there is a complete revolution of ideology with Pietersen at the helm. And that isn't going to happen.

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Post by msp83 on Sun 19 Jan 2014, 1:33 pm

Cook's captaincy has been rather uninspiring throughout this tour. Cook is a captain who leads with the bat. He is no super tactical genius, not too much of a very proactive skipper either. It is with the bat that he really leads. But he struggled in the summer Ashes, and has had a horrible tour so far with the bat. The struggles with the bat seems to have had a damaging impact on his captaincy.
But whether Cook should go? That is a difficult question. If Cook goes, then who? Stuart Broad and Kevin Pietersen are the only 2 players who command a place in all formats. But Broad already has a lot to deal with as a bowler, and there haven't been too many bowler captains. Pietersen could be a more aggressive option as skipper, and in 2008 in India, he showed statesman like qualities as skipper under some very challenging circumstances. But as we know, the debacle happened soon after that series, and even then England lost the ODI series pretty badly........ And for the option to be even considered, Andy Flower will have to go....... Flower wants to shift all the blame on to Pietersen and cling on to his job, all the while making unreasonable and petulant demands that he is in no position to really make....... But that is a different saga.
If England go the split captain root as they are already doing to an extent with Broad leading the T-20I side, I think one way to go could be to make Eoin Morgan captain of both limited over sides. As for the tests, If Matt Prior could refind how to hold a cricket bat somehow, then he should be the one in charge. But Prior has had an almighty struggle since the summer, and his place is by no way guaranteed. I am not sure Ian Bell would be a good enough option. Other than the summer Ashes, he too has been struggling with the bat, and as someone who goes through form patches more regularly than many, Bell has had a career full of battles with himself. As such, captaincy will be adding too much to his workload.
So under the circumstances, sack Flower, give Cook some time to evolve into a good leader where there is no coach to micromanage everything. Cook has to learn to take more tough calls, think he's not incapable of doing the same as he showed while defusing the Pietersen situation in 2012, but under the present management dispensation, he hasn't been called upon to take too many such calls. Bring him out of his comfort zone and then see whether he has it in him to evolve.
Make Pietersen the deputy and bring him into the leadership group. Find a coach who can help the players liberate themselves, Flower's micromanagement had its use with England at the time he took over, but after a while it ran out of its shelflife and they now need a coach who could help them relearn how to enjoy the game, and as Steven Finn put it recently, relearn how to fall in love with the game again.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Sun 19 Jan 2014, 2:55 pm

I'd say as ODI captain he could do without it, just concentrate on the tests.

If he was stripped of the odi captaincy, would he still command a place in the side?
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Post by KP_fan on Sun 19 Jan 2014, 3:35 pm

i have said many times....and quite some time back...he is walking like a ghost and talking like a robot.......at the verge of a break-down.

and that they( means those managing and looking after the team) should have sent him back after tests.

it's a melt-down of the complete English cricketing system.....those in management cannot see the basics and so the simple common-sensical.

They have not take care of Cook........and now if he continues to flounder as a player......they will drop him as a player also....and probably finish his career also
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Post by hodge on Sun 19 Jan 2014, 4:24 pm

ODI captin if Cook does step down should be Morgan or Bell, best men for the job.

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Post by Duty281 on Sun 19 Jan 2014, 4:53 pm

Would be great if Cook focused on what is most important - Test Matches, not this limited overs twaddle.

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Post by Corporalhumblebucket on Sun 19 Jan 2014, 5:24 pm

It would do Cook good to step away from ODIs - captaincy and playing - for the time being.

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Post by guildfordbat on Sun 19 Jan 2014, 7:19 pm

Corporalhumblebucket wrote:It would do Cook good to step away from ODIs - captaincy and playing - for the time being.  

Evening Corporal - Mike and I both thought that Cook should have had a break at the start of these ODIs. He didn't seem in a good place then and, unfortunately, it has only worsened since.

Find it hard to tell from this Grauniad article whether Cook actually wants to quit or whether he's facing up to the poor results and saying resignation shouldn't be ruled out. In the case of the latter, I would expect Cook to be more likely to want to stay on if and when suitable reaffirmation is given to him following the post tour review.

Something I've mentioned before but I'll flag again. In years gone by, England captains have often had considerable experience of captaincy in the county game before being challenged to do the same at a higher level in international matches. With many England players now being significantly removed from the regular county scene at a young age, the opportunities to obtain captaincy experience and develop the many required skills are much more limited.

Perhaps a downside and a consequence of the central contract system that has done Cook few favours.

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 19 Jan 2014, 7:29 pm

The other thing that Cook seems to be missing is a "Senior Pro", someone he could go to for advice during a game.
S'pose that was Swann before his departure but it's not just the Captain that's been lacking leadership in this England Team, surely?


From 3,000 miles away (well, more when in Australia obviously) it seems there's a double whammy right now, with the "burdens" of captaincy undermining his batting, England getting the worst of both worlds.

PS: Bad day, guildford, in Wolverhampton, not to mention the recent losses of Bobby Collins and Chris Chataway. (And still Dick Cheney keeps on ticking. No justice.)

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Post by guildfordbat on Sun 19 Jan 2014, 8:03 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:The other thing that Cook seems to be missing is a "Senior Pro", someone he could go to for advice during a game.
S'pose that was Swann before his departure but it's not just the Captain that's been lacking leadership in this England Team, surely?


From 3,000 miles away (well, more when in Australia obviously) it seems there's a double whammy right now, with the "burdens" of captaincy undermining his batting, England getting the worst of both worlds.

PS: Bad day, guildford, in Wolverhampton, not to mention the recent losses of Bobby Collins and Chris Chataway. (And still Dick Cheney keeps on ticking. No justice.)

Kwini - that's a fine point. Imagine Bell would come into that category but there aren't too many around now, certainly not for these ODIs. Prior should have been a useful ally earlier; always feel an experienced keeper is good for the skipper and the team.

PS Despite being thousands of miles away, you keep up to date with British obituaries much better than me. Ashamed to say I didn't know of either Collins or Chataway having moved on to perform at that great stadium in the sky. Just read a lovely story about Collins. When Colins was looking to move from Everton, Bill Shankly phoned his home in an attempt to get him to sign for Liverpool. However, Collins was out and his brother-in-law took the call but couldn't make out a word, totally failing to understand Shankly's granite like accent. When Shanks phoned back a day or so later, Collins had just signed for Leeds!

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Post by kwinigolfer on Sun 19 Jan 2014, 9:03 pm

guildford,
Is Bell an assertive character? Almost seems a little too much like Cook to achieve any contrast. Agree about Prior but he had his own problems!
They really needed a Bobby Collins - I liked the Telegraph line:
"One of the most combative players ever to have pulled on a shirt (his, or anyone else's) . . . . . . " Read that Shanklyism - love it!

You surely saw the Bert Williams passing - football's Reg Simpson?

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Post by guildfordbat on Sun 19 Jan 2014, 9:51 pm

Hi Kwini - no personal evidence at all but I have seen the odd report doubting Bell's captaincy credentials due to a lack of assertiveness on his part. It was really his experience I was refering to and suggesting that Cook could at least use that.

If Pietersen is to remain as part of the team, I do think he should be part of the captain's think tank - even if only because it'll be better for all if he's p*ssing out of the tent than into it!

Yes, I did see about Bert Williams. He was much admired by Gordon Banks. I think Williams' passing leaves just Finney and Bentley from the 1950 World Cup debacle against the USA!

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Post by Mike Selig on Sun 19 Jan 2014, 10:17 pm

Hard to disagree with any of guildford's and kwini's post(s) above.

I agree with giving KP more responsability, but the rumours at the moment seem to be that the rift is between him and Cook rather than him and Flower? Mind you, the rumours remain spectacularly unsubstantiated...

As for other options:

I liked Morgan as a captain when I've seen him. Quietly assertive and looked a bit more in control. That to me, rather than any tactical failings (most tactics are done in pre-match meetings anyway), is Cook's bigger problem. It just doesn't feel like "his" team.
I agree that Bell doesn't seem to be a natural leader.
Prior and Broad, or even Anderson would be the only other candidates. I haven't seen that much from Broad I have to say. Prior would be fine I'm sure, but has his own game to worry about.

I think for Cook's sake he shouldn't make any decisions now in the heat of the moment. It is very easy to get downhearted particularly when away from home, but taking decisions now isn't going to help anything.

The one thing I would say is it is very difficult and even more so in today's game to be a captain and a top 3 batsman. There is such expectation on today's captains in terms of media and communication commitments that you surely can't focus entirely on your batting. This has undoubtedly effected Cook (I felt the constant media scrutiny got to Ponting sometimes as well).

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Post by hodge on Mon 20 Jan 2014, 2:48 am

If we're talking about ODI's as the title suggests, then Prior would actually have to get back into the one day side ahead of Buttler, and for now that isn't happening. If anything Buttler is chasing down Prior's test place.

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Post by alfie on Mon 20 Jan 2014, 11:42 am

I am very much in agreement with Mike and guildford here : it would be foolish for Cook to make any rash decisions while he is in a - very understandably - rather depressed state , and still trying to do his best in the dying days of the tour.
Anyone who has had extensive experience of captaincy at any level must know what it feels like when your team is in a wretched run of defeats , your own form is faltering , and nothing you try seems to have any useful effect : no matter how strong minded you are it is impossible to stop self doubt hammering away at you to the point where you wonder if it were best for everyone if you stepped aside...
and we don't have the added pressure of having to explain ourselves
on national television or answer the constant hints from the easily bored press that we must be considering our future...

Hopefully he is sensible enough to go home , debrief , de-stress and think about the whole thing in a less pressurized environment.

Like others , I do not think Cook looks a natural captain ; but this does not automatically make him a bad one. Border , for example , never looked happy in his early days in the job - indeed he said himself he would happily have given it up more than once. But he soldiered on mainly through lack of alternatives and a sense of duty : he learned on the job , and eventually became a highly successful
leader who passed on a strong unit to his successors . Whether Cook can make the same journey remains to be seen . But as others have pointed out , there are no really satisfactory alternatives right now.

Now it may be that it will be in Cook's and England's interests to separate the Test and ODI leadership ( I am not convinced it would ; but I could be wrong ) and in that case I believe Morgan would be the logical choice. In fact it probably would have been a good idea had Cook , like Broad , taken the first couple of ODIs off and let Morgan run it ; but never mind , what's done is done. Just two more games and he can have a break.
And maybe the press will leave him in peace for a few weeks...would that be too much to ask ?

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Post by Jetty on Tue 21 Jan 2014, 3:52 pm

Bell has captained Under-19s, Lions and at Warks

W 24 L13 D7
cc - W5 L2 D1

Some of the people he has captained
Carberry, Panesar, Tremlett, Kyle Hogg, Tredwell, Prior, Anderson, Strauss, Shah, Flintoff, Schofield, Harmison, Key, Swann, Sidebottom, Kirby, S Jones, Tudor, Solanki, Rikki Clarke, Cook (05), Lewis, Mahmood, Bopara, Steve Davis, Mascarenhas, Rashid, Batty, Morgan, Bresnan, Onions, Trott, Taylor, Plunkett, Woakes, Yousuf, Rankin, Ambrose, Pietersen, Patel, Buttler, Kieswetter, Finn, Dernbach, Root, Ballance, Stokes, Bairstow

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Post by Sangakkara on Fri 24 Jan 2014, 7:32 am

Cook says he's "desperate" to remain captain and that what he said after the 3rd ODI was just an immediate reaction to an emotional loss.

Though I'm glad to hear of the rethink, he can't let emotions get the better of him like that. Needs to be stronger. In contrast, last summer Clarke never once looked like a defeated man.

But good news in my opinion. Give him a chance to build his team(s).

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