Should Cook get the tap on the shoulder?

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Should Cook get the tap on the shoulder?

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Total Votes : 10

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Post by Scrumpy on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 3:47 pm

So should Cook get the tap on the shoulder or not?

Michael Vaughan and Alec Stewart have called on the England and Wales Cricket Board to take the captaincy off Cook.

Michael Atherton
"It gives no pleasure to write it, but the tap on the shoulder for Alastair Cook should come."

Sir Ian Botham,
"it would be best if Cook stepped down"

Geoffrey Boycott - asked if he thought he was still the right man to lead England,
"There's only him, his wife, his family and his friends think so. I don't think too many other people do."
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Post by Duty281 on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 4:48 pm

Is that what we do?

Ring the changes at a sign of adversity?

I say nay to that, for we are the English, lauded worldwide for our stoic, persevering nature, and battling on bravely against the odds.

Give Cooky more time.

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Post by Born Slippy on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 5:28 pm

The problem is that he would be in severe danger of losing his place if he were not captain given his woeful form. Given that his captaincy skills are questionable and the team is on the worst run for years, there isn't really a positive reason for him to stay on.

However, there is no other candidate to step up. I would therefore let him meander on to the end of Summer. If no improvement make by then hopefully a fit Stuart Broad captain.

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Post by hugehandoff on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 6:25 pm

This is a choice of the lesser of 2 evils? Keep a captain incapable of making the right decisions and whose thinking has clearly become muddled and confused and who cannot score a run? Or pick who exactly? No great credible alternatives at the moment.

This really is an evil choice for the selectors. Crying or Very sad

I would give him the tap and ask Mike Brearley to take over.

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Post by kingraf on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 6:29 pm

Funny thing is, you look at that list, and how many Ashes winning captains are there? How many have won a series in India? How many have made an ICC final? You don't become a bad cappy overnight.
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 7:07 pm

kingraf wrote:Funny thing is, you look at that list, and how many Ashes winning captains are there? How many have won a series in India? How many have made an ICC final? You don't become a bad cappy overnight.
Thing is with those achievements Cook did that not through good captaincy, but by leading from the front with the bat (and as all good captains have, a good side)

For me end of the series, purely because in reality there's no one else (I say root but not sure he's captain material). But Cook's seriously gotta turn it around, and to be honest I do not see it happening
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Post by kingraf on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 7:16 pm

Hogwash Olly. He didn't do much with the bat in the Ashes, and as Clarke learnt last year, "leading from the front", is a fancy statement, but meaning what exactly?
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Post by Duty281 on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 7:21 pm

I think Cook will get a century this series; he's getting starts but not fully capitalising. He'll turn the corner by the time this series is done.

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 7:30 pm

kingraf wrote:Hogwash Olly. He didn't do much with the bat in the Ashes, and as Clarke learnt last year, "leading from the front", is a fancy statement, but meaning what exactly?
Its well known that the captain is the prized wicket, when he's in a rut like now, it has an effect on his team, adversely. I've played in teams where this has happened.

I don't think Cook is a horrific horrible captain. He's not Flintoff. But he's not particularly good, the last time I can remember him really doing a good job was at Durham last year. As Nasser said, if England were to go out there tomorrow, with Cook not as captain, would people be saying "well we're missing Cook's captaincy" Honestly I don't think so.
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Post by Liam on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 7:41 pm

It's a tough one. Part of me thinks give him till the end of the series at least. At the same time, I just don't think Cook is captain material. He's never struck me as someone to set fields, be tactically aware, changing of the bowler etc. For me, he does two things well, the latter very well, and that's fielding at slip/short leg and batting. His batting is suffering for me, not only because its natural for batsmen to hit a slump, but the pressure and burden of the captaincy. It would be to his and the teams benefit for him to step down and accept it wasn't the right decision. I think it would be a massive weight lifted off his shoulders and I feel his runs would soon return as a result.

Even though he's only young and inexperienced in Test cricket, Root strikes me as someone who could excel as captain. He has the hunger and desire, as well as a never say die attitude and willingness to win, as shown with his reaction to his dismissal in his last match. The more I think about Vaughan's shout of bringing in Morgan to captain the more I warm to it. Always liked his captaincy, seems like a natural and crucially, has scored CC runs. Question is, who do you drop? Ali/Stokes/Broad? I'd go:

1. Cook
2. Bell
3. Ballance
4. Root
5. Ali
6. Morgan (c)
7. Stokes
8. Buttler
9. Jordan
10. Plunkett
11. Anderson

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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 7:46 pm

Dropping Robson??

Jeez that's harsh, scored a century and a fifty in his first four tests. Not bad
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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 10:21 pm

I mean with Cook what happens if we get to the end of the Oval test and he hasn't made a score? And this has continued through the next three tests?

We'd lose our captain, and we couldn't keep him in the team as a batter, he's already using up his past credit now for that.

And its not completely beyond the realms this continues

Don't let the stubbornness over a poor captain, make us lose one of our best ever batsmen
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Post by Scrumpy on Tue 22 Jul 2014, 10:25 pm

Take the weight off his shoulders now and let him save his Test career before it's too late.
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Post by Stella on Wed 23 Jul 2014, 8:48 am

Liam wrote:It's a tough one. Part of me thinks give him till the end of the series at least. At the same time, I just don't think Cook is captain material. He's never struck me as someone to set fields, be tactically aware, changing of the bowler etc. For me, he does two things well, the latter very well, and that's fielding at slip/short leg and batting. His batting is suffering for me, not only because its natural for batsmen to hit a slump, but the pressure and burden of the captaincy. It would be to his and the teams benefit for him to step down and accept it wasn't the right decision. I think it would be a massive weight lifted off his shoulders and I feel his runs would soon return as a result.

Even though he's only young and inexperienced in Test cricket, Root strikes me as someone who could excel as captain. He has the hunger and desire, as well as a never say die attitude and willingness to win, as shown with his reaction to his dismissal in his last match. The more I think about Vaughan's shout of bringing in Morgan to captain the more I warm to it. Always liked his captaincy, seems like a natural and crucially, has scored CC runs. Question is, who do you drop? Ali/Stokes/Broad? I'd go:

1. Cook
2. Bell
3. Ballance
4. Root
5. Ali
6. Morgan (c)
7. Stokes
8. Buttler
9. Jordan
10. Plunkett
11. Anderson

Morgan? I hope he's a tactical genius to oust Bell.
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Post by alfie on Wed 23 Jul 2014, 2:26 pm

kingraf wrote:Funny thing is, you look at that list, and how many Ashes winning captains are there? How many have won a series in India? How many have made an ICC final? You don't become a bad cappy overnight.

That thought had occurred to me too  Smile

Retired Captains can be a bit like ex- Prime Ministers - all too ready to put the boot into their successors , even though they should know better than anyone how difficult the job can be.

Doesn't mean they're wrong , of course. Everyone has an opinion on this and I've stated mine often enough I won't bore everyone with a lengthy expansion ; but I'm voting get off his back , though I reserve the right to review that after this series is done and dusted.

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Post by Liam on Wed 23 Jul 2014, 8:25 pm

Stella wrote:
Liam wrote:It's a tough one. Part of me thinks give him till the end of the series at least. At the same time, I just don't think Cook is captain material. He's never struck me as someone to set fields, be tactically aware, changing of the bowler etc. For me, he does two things well, the latter very well, and that's fielding at slip/short leg and batting. His batting is suffering for me, not only because its natural for batsmen to hit a slump, but the pressure and burden of the captaincy. It would be to his and the teams benefit for him to step down and accept it wasn't the right decision. I think it would be a massive weight lifted off his shoulders and I feel his runs would soon return as a result.

Even though he's only young and inexperienced in Test cricket, Root strikes me as someone who could excel as captain. He has the hunger and desire, as well as a never say die attitude and willingness to win, as shown with his reaction to his dismissal in his last match. The more I think about Vaughan's shout of bringing in Morgan to captain the more I warm to it. Always liked his captaincy, seems like a natural and crucially, has scored CC runs. Question is, who do you drop? Ali/Stokes/Broad? I'd go:

1. Cook
2. Bell
3. Ballance
4. Root
5. Ali
6. Morgan (c)
7. Stokes
8. Buttler
9. Jordan
10. Plunkett
11. Anderson

Morgan? I hope he's a tactical genius to oust Bell.

From what i've seen when he has captained the side he's done a good job tbf to him. Never seen Bell captain a side, never mind an England one and he's in the same boat as Cook in that he can't score a run at the moment. Why give Bell the captaincy? cook - not scoring runs, captain. Bell - not scoring runs, make him captain??

Olly,

I'd drop Robson due to the need of getting Morgan into the side and also I feel an experienced player in with Cook from the start may help him. Its just my theory, a left field one being Bell has never opened in test match cricket and isn't in good nick himself, but I feel it may help both of them seeing an experienced test campaigned at the other side of the wicket.

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Post by Mike Selig on Wed 23 Jul 2014, 8:44 pm

Bell as an opener? The idea has merit for precisely the reasons Liam has given.

The fact he is not an opener by trade is not necessarily a deal breaker. Neither was Shewag and he did a pretty good job for a while. Langer is another who never really opened until Australia stuck him in there. I'm sure there are others.

There are however a few reasons why I'm not keen on the idea.

I don't know where it would leave Robson, who has done pretty well and "deserves" IMO the rest of this summer to prove himself. Having said that I've never been a big believer in people "deserving" to play - it is more a case of pick what you feel is the strongest combination. However, if you see Bell as an opener for the forseeable future then maybe, but if it's intended as a stop-gap and eventually you think he'll move back down the order then no, because whoever you bring in to open next has an impossible task, and you are sending a desperately poor message to Robson.

The other issue is where it leaves the middle-order, and that is desperately lacking in experience. Of course the obvious answer to that is that having Bell just there for his experience is pretty useless if he's not scoring runs. Nevertheless I think teams will look at that middle order and be fairly confident.

All the more so because we are moving Root around, AGAIN, just when he looks perfectly settled at number 5. He is such a natural there, I don't understand the obsession with shifting him all the time. I think with that team you probably have Morgan at 4, which is not ideal but may work.

Finally, Buttler behind Stokes? Nah...

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Post by guildfordbat on Wed 23 Jul 2014, 9:13 pm

Briefly back to the opening post.

As regulars will know, I'm no fan of Cook as England captain. For me, he's unimaginative and lacks the ability to inspire.

However, whilst there's a loud and probably growing call for the captaincy to be stripped from him there's no clear or obvious candidate to take over. I think it's worth considering why not.

When I grew up watching Test cricket in the late '60s and through the '70s, the England captain was normally also a county captain of several years' standing. Furthermore, there would regularly be a couple of other county captains in the Test side whose experience the (Test) skipper could call upon. With the advent of central contracts, that sort of county captaincy experience (which countless Test skippers including Illingwort and Brearley, two of the world's best, cut their teeth on) is no longer available.

This isn't a call for the abolition of central contracts. That would be chucking the baby out with the bathwater. Indeed, central contracts have probably positively influenced batting, bowling, fielding and fitness to name only some areas. But captaincy? I believe not.

I have no solution here but feel it should be recognised as an issue and one for which Cook can't be blamed.

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Post by kingraf on Wed 23 Jul 2014, 10:01 pm

alfie wrote:
kingraf wrote:Funny thing is, you look at that list, and how many Ashes winning captains are there? How many have won a series in India? How many have made an ICC final? You don't become a bad cappy overnight.

That thought had occurred to me too  Smile

Retired Captains can be a bit like ex- Prime Ministers - all too ready to put the boot into their successors , even though they should know better than anyone how difficult the job can be.

Doesn't mean they're wrong , of course. Everyone has an opinion on this and I've stated mine often enough I won't bore everyone with a lengthy expansion ; but I'm voting get off his back , though I reserve the right to review that after this series is done and dusted.

Yeah, look - sometimes guys who failed at the gig are great sounding boards, they know what not to do, at the very least... but we're kidding ourselves if we think Cook is the root of all problems.
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Post by Mike Selig on Wed 23 Jul 2014, 10:48 pm

It's an interesting thought guildford but to be honest I'm not sure there's that much merit in it.

If you look at recent England captains, Vaughan never really captained his county side, neither did Strauss. Don't think Hussain was a regular captain at Essex either. If you look at captains around the world Clarke has hardly played any shield cricket, Smith was thrust into the captaincy at a very precocious age and I doubt had had much experience.

What all of these players have had though are senior pros around to help them out: Hussain had the likes of Atherton, Stewart, Thorpe, Gough; Vaughan kept Hussain and Thorpe on, Trescothick was also a bit of a natural leader. Strauss inherited a fragile side but it still contained Prior, KP, Collingwood. All leaders (although none of them county captains I don't think). Clarke still had Ponting for a while. Smith had Pollock. etc.

So where are the leaders now, which I guess is part of your question. I'm not sure there's an obvious answer. I tend to be of the opinion that leaders are mostly born rather than made - the ability to impose your personality on a group of people is not something I think you can teach. The tactical points of captaincy and getting a feel for the game is against partly instinctive but also something you learn through experience. Cook is still learning this on the job, but in all honesty that's something most international captains have had to do in my memory (which may make your point up to an extent).

One point which I also want to bring up whether it relevant or not is that there may now be an over-reliance on backroom staff to do the tactics. Every county will now have a plethora of analysts and statisticians telling the players what is a good score on this ground against this team, what type of bowlers are likely to get wickets and where, where the catches will go (so where you should put your better fielders) etc. etc.

Whilst all that information is interesting, useful and informative, there is such a thing as too much information (we have a saying in French: "too much information kills the information") which can lead to scrambled thinking and stop people thinking on their feet and for themselves. More importantly I wonder if this is also done at age-group levels and to what extent. All that stuff is fine, but you want your youngsters learning to think on their feet.

I speak here from personal experience. We also do a fair amount of analysis and statistics down at our level. What I then see as my job is to simplify this information into some relevant and clear information. What I also have to do is force myself not to step everytime I see something which doesn't fit with what I think we should be doing. There are two reasons for this:
- I could be wrong (this does happen, but to be honest very rarely - sorry for not being modest)
- the players have to make mistakes to learn. If we should have a short third-man and don't, and a ball gets top-edged to right where he would have been then after the game we will talk about it, I will have noted down the exact ball which went there (over number, score, score of batsman), we will then discuss why having a short third-man in that exact situation (match situation, type of bowler, batsman and pitch) MIGHT have been a good idea (I stress the word might because in actual fact whilst there are some wrong fields, there are not really any "right" fields).

It's tough, really tough, as a coach to sit back and think "I know this is wrong, we should be doing this" but not say anything and then watch as exactly what you thought would happen does happen. But it's something as a coach of young players you have to do sometimes/often.

I have no real evidence to back this up, but I fear with the sheer amount of backroom staff around, if everybody has their own input then young players are getting too much input which leads to scrambled thinking and players being spoon-fed.

It would be interesting to find out from a county youth set-up how they are going about developing young leaders (I know a few have such a program but I don't know the details) and how many mistakes they allow their players to make.

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Post by guildfordbat on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 12:23 pm

Mike - thanks for your detailed reply.

I agree with you that "leaders are mostly born rather than made". That's largely why I feel that Cook won't cut the captaincy mustard however much the ECB back him and invest in him.

Natural born leaders though get better still with experience. I feel that's what happened with the likes of Strauss and others of recentish times that you mention. If Cook had had a smaller county stage to try out his captaincy for some time, it might have helped hone his skills for the England job or imo more likely shown him in advance to be not up for it. Anyway, we are where we are.

Interesting point about players relying on backroom staff for tactics. At this week's county match at the small Guildford ground, coaches from both sides at times spoke during play to young bowlers when they were fielding on the boundary and clearly gave them guidance. I don't know if that infringes any rules but it was simply wrong to my mind. Once the player steps onto the ground he leaves his coach behind until the next interval in my book.

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Post by ChequeredJersey on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 1:25 pm

I don't think the problems all stem with Cook, and I think in many ways the new captain would be similarly restricted
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Post by Mike Selig on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 2:03 pm

guildfordbat wrote:At this week's county match at the small Guildford ground, coaches from both sides at times spoke during play to young bowlers when they were fielding on the boundary and clearly gave them guidance. I don't know if that infringes any rules but it was simply wrong to my mind. Once the player steps onto the ground he leaves his coach behind until the next interval in my book.

Yeah we (coaches) do that sometimes. It's discouraged but I don't think there are actual rules about it. I know at ICC regional age-group competitions they are keen on "no coaching from the sidelines" and will happily admit to finding ways of bending that directive in various ways - I actually don't see why coaches shouldn't be allowed to, well, coach during the game as and when they see fit, but there you go. Usually it's just a case of offering some reassurance (we're doing well, keep it up, stick to the plan); sometimes it's cos the bowler will be trying something new and the coach is just after sensations (how's it feeling leaving the hand? Looks alright from here...); sometimes it could be that you've spotted something unsafe or against the rules (at U19s batsman not wearing a helmet, or fielder too close without one); and yes sometimes you are giving tactical advice (drag your length back a bit, third-man too fine, etc.).

As said earlier striking a balance between helpful advice and making sure you're not simply spoon-feeding them through the game is crucial regarding young players in particular. I don't however think there is anything inherently wrong with coaching during the game.


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Post by Good Golly I'm Olly on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 9:24 pm

I agree totally with Mike's "natural born leaders" statement. Some people just have that ability to take control and inspire. I don't think its something that can be manufactured personally
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Post by kingraf on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 10:21 pm

This is an area, a place, I disagree
with Mike on. Here's the thing, you look at the west Indian team of the 80s, Vivian Richards probably wasn't the most natural leader. Similarly Pollock wasn't really, exactly, Captain Colossal. But, their results speak for themselves. For me, a cricket captain, and captaincy is about two things:
1 - being tactically sound
2 - your position of leadership is beyond reproach.

I don't think it matters wether this is because you're a great leader, or a player who's stats themselves are beyond reproach.
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Post by Mike Selig on Thu 24 Jul 2014, 11:54 pm

Yeah we don't agree raf, although I'm not sure we differ by all that much.

If you ask me what I am looking for from a captain, I would probably say the following 3 things in order:
1) to have the respect of your team
2) to be able to inspire/coax performances out of players
3) to read the game and be tactically aware

I think if you are a natural leader then 1) and 2) are immediate. I don't think you can have 2) without 1).

The point about 1) is that it is often (although not always, e.g. Brearley) achieved through performances, and being an uncontested starter in the XI.

3) is perhaps less important despite wide assumptions to the contrary - just ask yourself how many matches have genuinely been won by brilliant tactics. At the risk of stating the obvious, it is players who win matches, and being able to get your players to perform is the best way of ensuring you win. However 3) is crucial if your players aren't so good, or things don't go according to plan (see the "think on your feet" point). There is a difference between "aware" and "sound" - all international cricketers are tactically sound: they know how to set a field, what lines, lengths and pace to bowl at what time, etc. Being Tactically aware is a bit different, it is about having a feel for the game and the way it's headed, and being able to change things if necessary.

You can have 1) without 2). If you think of somebody like Tendulkar, he certainly had the respect of his team through pure stats, and I think you'd be hard pressed to argue he wasn't tactically aware, but he wasn't a particularly good captain.

So I do think you need that something extra, as Olly said that ability to inspire others. For all the criticising Ponting gets in this country especially, he managed to coax match-winning performances out of people like Hauritz - that to me is great captaincy, or leadership. I think Viv Richards had a lot of that. This can of course be achieved by leading "from the front" which inspires others to follow you. But simply performing (and being tactically aware) is not IMO enough.

Pollock is a tough one. He might have to be the exception who proves the rule.

As for Cook? Well, he has 1) on my list. Whether he has 3) I am willing to give him more time before passing judgement. I very much fear however that he doesn't seem to inspire others. And I don't think that's something you can teach.

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Post by liverbnz on Fri 25 Jul 2014, 12:46 am

Wasn't Pollock jettisoned as SA captain after a poor run of defeats following a good start? Despite his overall record his Walloping vs the Aussies defined his reign in the end.

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Should Cook get the tap on the shoulder? Empty Re: Should Cook get the tap on the shoulder?

Post by kingraf on Fri 25 Jul 2014, 5:21 am

Well that would be harsh, liver. He was really just jettisoned because, in the words of Gerald de Kock, we just needed someone who was the least damaged from the 2003 CWC debacle. Remember, we had just usurped Australia as the #1 team in the world prior to the WC, and if memory serves, had also spent some time atop the ODI rankings. The Australian defeats were bad (horrid, even), but that was our only defeats in a glorious three year period. Still, no shame in a side which has Boeta Dippenaar, and Nantie Hayward (as wayward as he was blitz), and a still developing quota system being knifed by that Australian team.
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Should Cook get the tap on the shoulder? Empty Re: Should Cook get the tap on the shoulder?

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