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English Cricket turns to three captains-but is that the way forward?



This is the dawn of a new era in English cricket, as they have decided to turn to an unprecedented selection of three captains across the three formats of the game. This has brought about the selection of Alistair Cook and Stuart Broad to become the new captains in ODI and T20 cricket respectively.

There is no doubt that the Test captain is unlikely to be able to be able to captain the shorter formats of the game, as it would take someone that has extreme mental strengths and also it may be that the Test captain isn’t actually suited to playing big hitting, fast scoring cricket. So I have no problem that Andrew Strauss has decided to step down as ODI captain. But I do find it fascinating that they have picked a guy who may be in the form off his life, but has never been able to get a foothold into the ODI team!

Yes, I’m talking about Cook. Although he has had an unbelievable 18months with the bat helping us to Ashes success down under, and he is the vice-captain for the Test match side, surely you want a player leading a squad who has been established in the side for some time, someone that knows the set-up inside out, and it’s clear that Cook isn’t that person.

Although he may be captain material, I’m not sure that he has the ability to manipulate a 50 over game. He lacks the pace and intensity needed to step through the gears when necessary to try and build a big total. Not only that, 50 over cricket is supposed to be full of boundaries and huge totals, but Cook is one the slowest and anaesthetically pleasing batsmen in modern cricket, enough to send the old members at Lords to sleep!

If I was Geoff Miller or any other member of the national selection panel, I would just want to leave Cooky alone to concentrate on trying to make his ridiculous test form stretch out as long as possible! I fear that by making Cook think about speeding his play up (something unnatural to him) it may expose some of his many technical difficulties again; forcing him to become awfully unbalanced with his head tailing away from the line of the ball. If this happens, it’s an almost guarantee that Cook will begin to struggle for form once again!

I hope that I’m horribly wrong because I want to see England dominate in all forms of the game but I just fear that this move has the potential to be disastrous and that the risk isn’t worth it. I also personally don’t see the need for two captains in the shorter formats of the game because the majority of the ODI and T20 sides are very similar. Meaning we could just have one captain that features in both sides.

Broad for me isn’t captain material, although he has the passion and drive to want bigger and better things, his temperament is something that will put his leadership at risk. A well-spoken gentlemen with a good head off the field, once on the field he is almost like a different person at times, ‘Jekyll and Hyde almost. When a few dodgy decisions don’t go his way, he can become quite erratic, which has been evident on a number of occasions where he has been fined by the ICB for misconduct. This is something that he needs to learn to control because he has now become an ambassador for his country by leading the T20 side. It is often said that by taking away a characteristic of a player, will make him something he is not and lead to poor performances and I like Broad’s passion and aggressive side, but by making him captain it’s going to mean he has to tone down his aggressive nature.

In my opinion, I feel the Kevin Pietersen should have been given a second crack at the job. Although he went out in somewhat controversial circumstances, times have passed and with his ability and flair, he would make a perfect leader.

In other sports such as Football we have seen that clubs or countries are prepared to turn back to players who have had controversial lives, for instance John Terry and the England Captaincy. Kevin Pietersen is by far England’s best player in all forms of the game; he has the ability to change through the gears whenever he wants the capability to manipulate the field and bowlers and can really lead from the front, providing an inspiration for the rest of the squad; setting a high standard for the rest to follow and because he features in both ODI and T20 sides he can become the complete one day captain!

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