England news September 13, 2011

Cook eager to prove T20 credentials

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Alastair Cook, England's one-day international captain, believes he could adapt to the Twenty20 format were he to return to the international side as captain for the two matches against West Indies next week after Stuart Broad was ruled out.

Broad suffered a shoulder injury during the fourth ODI against India at Lord's, and will also miss the one-day leg of the India tour although there is hope we will be fit to resume his Twenty20 captaincy for the one-off game in Kolkata on October 29. However, before then, England are left with a tricky decision as to how to fill his vacancy because Eoin Morgan, Broad's vice-captain, is out of action until January with his own shoulder problem.

There are a couple of left-field options England could consider, such as Graeme Swann or Kevin Pietersen, which would make it five captains in a season, or they could extend Cook's remit from his ODI role where he has had a successful summer with series victories against Sri Lanka and India.

Cook's only T20 captaincy experience came against South Africa, in Centurion, in 2009, which was his first match in charge of England. He looked lost in the field as Graeme Smith and Loots Bosman added 170 for the first wicket to set up a crushing 84-run victory for the hosts. However, Cook has had the chance to expand his leadership skills in the last 18 months, firstly captaining the tour to Bangladesh then being named the one-day captain.

There have also been signs during the season that Cook has expanded his game in 50-over cricket, suggesting that he could have another crack at Twenty20 where he currently has four international caps.

"It's another step out of my comfort zone, a lot more hard work," Cook said after being named the ICC Test Cricketer of the Year on Monday evening. "But I've scored runs for Essex in Twenty20, and if I get the chance to play Twenty20 [for England] I hope I can show that again. I've always said I want to play all three formats of the game.

"Test cricket obviously comes a bit more naturally to me, and suits my style of game. In the last two years I've really worked hard to develop my range of shots, and it's worked - and I think there's huge potential still to come as those shots become more and more natural."

The problem with handing Cook the role is that it would be disruptive to the top order. Against India, at Old Trafford, England opened with Craig Kieswetter and Alex Hales so Cook would have to take the position of one of those players. Andy Flower had hoped to use the matches against West Indies - a late addition to the schedule due to TV commitments - as the first stage in planning the defence of the World Twenty20 title, in Sri Lanka next September, but without Morgan and Broad he is missing two key elements.

"Obviously it's very disappointing for Stuart to miss out," Cook added. "It's gutting for him, but it gives another person a chance to captain England. The selectors will make that decision. It's not whether you'd like the job, it's whether you're honoured enough to be given it."

Andrew McGlashan is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • dummy4fb on September 14, 2011, 9:13 GMT

    Correcting myself swann will captain not bresnan

  • Nutcutlet on September 14, 2011, 7:54 GMT

    Conrad Tracy seems to know that Tim Bresnan is captain. Good! The point is that a few players could have captained this side (any one of Cook, Swann, Anderson, Trott besides Bresnan) for what is a dead-rubber ODI. England under Flower has developed a breed of thinking cricketer who is nonetheless a team man first and last. This is another tribute to clear and mature management which other teams are keen to imitate (but India has a distance to go!)

  • Truemans_Ghost on September 14, 2011, 7:23 GMT

    For me, Pieterson would be fine as a stand in captain. You wouldn't want him to be "the captain" with the off the field stuff which he proved before he is horrible at , but captaining on the pitch for two three hour irrelevant games, why not? @chrisgus is that really fair? OK cook and Strauss went to English private schools but I'm pretty sure Pieterson, Vaughan, Flintoff and Collingwood didn't. recent evidence is hardly that it is a pre requisite

  • dummy4fb on September 14, 2011, 6:16 GMT

    Tim Bresnan is the captain... Awesome choice he is definitely leadership material

  • dummy4fb on September 14, 2011, 4:06 GMT

    Swann as captain would be ridiculously awesome.

  • dummy4fb on September 14, 2011, 2:25 GMT

    it wouldnt disturb the opener combination at all, Hales made a duck in his only game, u can't get worse then that. But what i'd be doing is just replacing morgan with James taylor and then let Pieterson captain for the games it only for 1 series and can't do any harm

  • landl47 on September 14, 2011, 1:38 GMT

    Since Cook is apparently not worth his place in the T20 side purely as a player, he'd have to be a truly outstanding captain, in the Mike Brearley class, to be worth bringing in just because the captain is injured. I like Cook and if the decision has been made to give him a run in the T20 side whether he is captain or not, then fine. However, if he's just filling in, then give the job to one of the players who have made the squad on merit. I don't know the players well enough to know who would enjoy taking on the captaincy, but Swann seems like a pretty good choice to me. He's very experienced, he knows what everybody's role is and he's not in danger of losing his place. England need another bowler who can bat (maybe Woakes) to replace Broad, not another non-bowling batsman.

  • RAVI_BOPARA on September 13, 2011, 23:39 GMT

    BOPARA FOR T20 CAPTAINCY...... ITS THE ONLY WAY TO GO!!!!!

  • 5wombats on September 13, 2011, 21:45 GMT

    Cook T20 captain - ? Why not??? It won't be KP, he's not the way to go at all, anyway - he's been tried.

  • dummy4fb on September 13, 2011, 17:37 GMT

    Bopara for T20 captain!?!? Only someone who has never met him/spoken to him could possibly suggest that! Don't get me wrong I am a big Bopara fan as one of the most gifted players of his generation in England - emergency wicketkeeper maybe, captaincy never! Good luck to him anyway and I think concentrating on his batting and making a success of that is the best way forward.....

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