August 31, 2012

English cricket

New era, new thinking?

Akhila Ranganna

"It was a complete shock when Andrew Strauss called me on Tuesday to say he was retiring," writes Stuart Broad in his column in the Daily Mail. But, as he goes on to write, along with the sadness that has accompanied Strauss's departure, comes the excitement that marks the start of a new era - under the captaincy of Alastair Cook.

Alastair Cook is another calm, solid man who has played an awful lot of Test cricket for someone who is still so young. The experience that he and the other senior men in the dressing room have gained will be vital as we might well head to India with a young batting line-up in October.

There will be extra responsibility now not just for Cooky but for all of us and I'm sure those of us with a fair bit of experience can help him as he settles in to his new role. We are a strong unit and that's important moving forward.

The new leadership might bring a new situation with Kevin Pietersen, writes Shane Warne in the Daily Telegraph. Alastair Cook may have a different approach which may lead to Andy Flower changing his mind. There has been so much said, and Warne is hopeful that, common sense prevails and England’s best batsman will be back playing all forms of the game.

In all sporting teams it is a fact that not everyone gets on away from the field. It would be boring if every character was the same. You need different characters and conversations. It creates a healthy environment. But you have an issue once trust and respect goes between individuals and leaders.

KP has to earn that respect back and he does that through the way he conducts himself. But the team have to earn his respect too. Some have handled themselves pretty poorly. It is a two-way street. Nobody is in the right or wrong. Both parties are at fault.

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Akhila Ranganna is assistant editor (Audio) at ESPNcricinfo

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