England news August 30, 2012

Experience will help Cook - Vaughan

21

Michael Vaughan, the former England captain, believes Alastair Cook's wealth of experience at international level gives him a head start after taking over the Test captaincy from Andrew Strauss who retired from professional cricket on Wednesday.

Cook, who has been England's one-day captain since last year, will take charge for the first time on the tour of India which starts in October and already has 83 Tests to his name.

"He is unquestionably England's most experienced leader to have got the job," Vaughan told ESPNcricinfo . "He has played 83 Test matches for England. When I got the job I had played 31, Straussy had got the job when he played 50, Nasser Hussain got the job when he had played 47. Even if Cook is still a young boy he is the most experienced guy to ever have taken the role. So he should be in a great position to lead the team."

Strauss' retirement was the latest instalment of a difficult year for England who are also having to deal with the ongoing Kevin Pietersen stand-off. The Test side has lost six of 11 matches this year to concede the No. 1 ranking to South Africa cumulating in the recent 2-0 series loss to them. However, Vaughan said the basis of English cricket remained solid and there was no need for Cook to press the panic button.

According to Vaughan, who was handed the captaincy in 2003, after Nasser Hussain called time on the role after the first Test against South Africa at Edgbaston, most captains assume the captaincy job in equally "tricky" situations. Vaughan led England for five years, starting with the onerous task of phasing out some of his senior team-mates to allow the "new generation" help him reach his goal.

"Whenever you get the job you never get in a great circumstance," he said while promoting the Extreme Sailing Series in Cardiff. "I got the role when there were a lot of senior players around and clearly that transition of bringing in new players has to happen.

"So I had to kind of oversee how we were going to rid of the legendary or senior guys who had performed well for England for a number of years and bring a new generation and change the mentality of the team. We had lost to Australia for many, many series. I had to change the mentality of beating the great Australian side. That was my role."

Similarly, it was a difficult time when Strauss took over in the midst of the Pietersen-Peter Moores dispute in 2009. Despite such incidents, Vaughan stressed, England have always held the advantage of having a ready back-up in place. "When Straussy got the role there was a fall-out between Pietersen and Peter Moores, but there was a still a good element of players around. There has been a system for a while now, what I describe as a conveyor belt where England would keep producing players.

"And now Cook gets the role again in a tricky circumstance: England have lost six in their last eleven Tests, the Pietersen situation, how does he manage that, only he knows best how to manage that. It is actually good because you can start from afresh and move forward."

Paying tribute to Strauss, Vaughan called him a "good captain," someone who would always fall in the bracket of the best men to lead England this generation. Equally impressive for Vaughan was the timing of Strauss' retirement.

"The respect side was always there," Vaughan said. "The way he dealt with people was outstanding. The way he dealt with media was outstanding. And he has won games for England and managed to score runs as a captain. He is right up there with the captains of last 20 years. Andrew Strauss would be in that group that got mentioned quite often. He has done a good job and he has gone out at the right time."

It was Vaughan the captain who handed Strauss his Test cap on debut against New Zealand at Lord's. A decade later Strauss finished an illustrious career standing next to Vaughan among the most successful Test captains for England. Vaughan had 26 wins alongside 11 losses during his 51-match tenure while Strauss had 24 wins and 11 losses in the 50 Tests at the helm. Yet, according to Vaughan, neither man was destined to be a leader.

"I certainly did not think on my debut I would captain England, never mind going on to lead England 51 times and win 26 of those Tests," Vaughan said. " I never even expected that. And I never expected Andrew Strauss to have 50 Tests as captain when I gave him the Test cap. When I retired in 2008 Kevin Pietersen got the role and I did not see an opportunity for Strauss to get the job. But it came out of circumstance."

Vaughan called Strauss selfless, a modern leader. "He is very self-deprecating, always looked out for others and the team before himself. That is what makes a good leader in this era, someone who really looks at the rest before he looks at himself. That is really good."

On the August 30, Michael Vaughan is making his way down to Cardiff for the Extreme Sailing Series, Extreme 40 Catamaran race weekend. Raced by many of the world's best sailors, including Ian Williams the skipper of the GAC Pindar team and three tims World Match Racing Tour champion, the race will take place on Cardiff bay over four days with the event open to the public.

Nagraj Gollapudi is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • RandyOZ on September 1, 2012, 2:39 GMT

    Probably still has nightmares about Warne when he goes to sleep.

  • Peck on August 31, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    If anybody wondering why straussy has retired early, just check England's future tour program. You will get all your answers there. you are wellcome!

  • jb633 on August 31, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    @thebrotherswaugh- nobody just happens to play 100 test matches. Any player that plays 100 test matches must be respected as a very good cricketer. Sure there are better players who have played less games but all in all he was a very good batsman. He struggled in the latter half of his career but from 2004-2007 he was the one of the best opening batsman going around.

  • atuljain1969 on August 31, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    AZHAR MAHMOOD I believe can play for England, if so, he should be taken immediately for One dayers as well as 20-20. Such an experienced and boutifull allrounder.

  • liz1558 on August 31, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    @thebrotherswaugh - complete codswallop. The reality is that the only time the 'great' Australia side of the noughties faced a genuinely good team, they got beaten (2005). And had that side stayed together, rather than tragically being ravaged by injuries, they would've easily retained the little Urn in 2006/7. No, no, no my down-under friend, the urn will stay where it belongs.

  • Hammond on August 31, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    @thebrotherswaugh- interesting mate "simply because he was at the helm when the won the ashes twice in a row"- what, you are saying it was a coincidence that the captain happened to be Strauss when England won the ashes twice? So the captain doesn't have any influence on the side winning or losing? How about taking England to number one in the world? Beating a bog average team twice doesn't really compare to that..

  • liz1558 on August 31, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    @Joninnorwich - I agree with your sentiments about KP - however, it's more complicated than that - he has made some very important runs for England - the 200 at Lords against India, a run a ball 151 against SL in Colombo, 158 against Aus at the Oval, and many others. The other England batsmen are good but none of them has the ability to dominate quality bowling in the way that Pietersen can. No one else in the world can. On the other hand, you're right, sometimes he's anonymous, bored, playing for the IPL window or whatever else motivates him. I would prefer to see it resolved and KP back in the England dressing room. The sad reality is, this may just not be possible. If not, then England have to put it to bed and move on quickly.

  • JG2704 on August 31, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    My worry is that he might turn out to be a bit too much like Strauss as a captain.Strauss was a decent on top captain and certainly a decent man manager but I felt he had no confidence to make brave/maybe unpopular decisions (with some fellow players) in a bid to turn things around.With Vaughan in 2005,I loved his team formation vs Australia and I really can't imagine this current set of players coming back from a test down to beat any side let alone the great Australian side. I'd have said before now that Compton was the man to come in next but I wonder if it's more than coincidence that the 2005 side had a more aggressive batting line up.I feel that our conservative approach has cost us chances of coming back vs SA and even more so vs Pak. I think we have relied too much on the "It's what got us here" theory , which can be accepted for a bad game but when you lose 4 tests in a row (and not even against top sides - no disrespect SL/Pak) you surely have to make changes in approch etc

  • MattyP1979 on August 31, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    Eng team is in a slight pickle yes, total disaray no. It is going to be tough, but i still see us winning if not drawing in Ind. Then we play 5 games against NZ!!! Slide down the rankings i think not. SA are a very good side and we were beaten, but we have just played the best team and now have all you minnows left. Time to consolidate the no.2.

  • mikey76 on August 31, 2012, 4:43 GMT

    Love all the negative comments from blue android. As if South Africa are gonna rule the world for ten years!. English cricket is good health and we'll be up there competing with the best for years to come. I don't think there will ever be a 20 year dynasty again, which can only be good for the game.

  • RandyOZ on September 1, 2012, 2:39 GMT

    Probably still has nightmares about Warne when he goes to sleep.

  • Peck on August 31, 2012, 13:38 GMT

    If anybody wondering why straussy has retired early, just check England's future tour program. You will get all your answers there. you are wellcome!

  • jb633 on August 31, 2012, 12:58 GMT

    @thebrotherswaugh- nobody just happens to play 100 test matches. Any player that plays 100 test matches must be respected as a very good cricketer. Sure there are better players who have played less games but all in all he was a very good batsman. He struggled in the latter half of his career but from 2004-2007 he was the one of the best opening batsman going around.

  • atuljain1969 on August 31, 2012, 11:48 GMT

    AZHAR MAHMOOD I believe can play for England, if so, he should be taken immediately for One dayers as well as 20-20. Such an experienced and boutifull allrounder.

  • liz1558 on August 31, 2012, 10:33 GMT

    @thebrotherswaugh - complete codswallop. The reality is that the only time the 'great' Australia side of the noughties faced a genuinely good team, they got beaten (2005). And had that side stayed together, rather than tragically being ravaged by injuries, they would've easily retained the little Urn in 2006/7. No, no, no my down-under friend, the urn will stay where it belongs.

  • Hammond on August 31, 2012, 8:50 GMT

    @thebrotherswaugh- interesting mate "simply because he was at the helm when the won the ashes twice in a row"- what, you are saying it was a coincidence that the captain happened to be Strauss when England won the ashes twice? So the captain doesn't have any influence on the side winning or losing? How about taking England to number one in the world? Beating a bog average team twice doesn't really compare to that..

  • liz1558 on August 31, 2012, 7:57 GMT

    @Joninnorwich - I agree with your sentiments about KP - however, it's more complicated than that - he has made some very important runs for England - the 200 at Lords against India, a run a ball 151 against SL in Colombo, 158 against Aus at the Oval, and many others. The other England batsmen are good but none of them has the ability to dominate quality bowling in the way that Pietersen can. No one else in the world can. On the other hand, you're right, sometimes he's anonymous, bored, playing for the IPL window or whatever else motivates him. I would prefer to see it resolved and KP back in the England dressing room. The sad reality is, this may just not be possible. If not, then England have to put it to bed and move on quickly.

  • JG2704 on August 31, 2012, 6:41 GMT

    My worry is that he might turn out to be a bit too much like Strauss as a captain.Strauss was a decent on top captain and certainly a decent man manager but I felt he had no confidence to make brave/maybe unpopular decisions (with some fellow players) in a bid to turn things around.With Vaughan in 2005,I loved his team formation vs Australia and I really can't imagine this current set of players coming back from a test down to beat any side let alone the great Australian side. I'd have said before now that Compton was the man to come in next but I wonder if it's more than coincidence that the 2005 side had a more aggressive batting line up.I feel that our conservative approach has cost us chances of coming back vs SA and even more so vs Pak. I think we have relied too much on the "It's what got us here" theory , which can be accepted for a bad game but when you lose 4 tests in a row (and not even against top sides - no disrespect SL/Pak) you surely have to make changes in approch etc

  • MattyP1979 on August 31, 2012, 5:02 GMT

    Eng team is in a slight pickle yes, total disaray no. It is going to be tough, but i still see us winning if not drawing in Ind. Then we play 5 games against NZ!!! Slide down the rankings i think not. SA are a very good side and we were beaten, but we have just played the best team and now have all you minnows left. Time to consolidate the no.2.

  • mikey76 on August 31, 2012, 4:43 GMT

    Love all the negative comments from blue android. As if South Africa are gonna rule the world for ten years!. English cricket is good health and we'll be up there competing with the best for years to come. I don't think there will ever be a 20 year dynasty again, which can only be good for the game.

  • premnauth on August 31, 2012, 2:24 GMT

    Tour of ind will be a good test for him.

  • on August 31, 2012, 1:59 GMT

    Strauss! was an excellent player @ subcontinent. His batting style is perfect against spinners. Remember 2008 series he scored immense runs and also remember world cup against india where he scored massive 158. yes its definitely a big loss to england cricket team to find another solid opener.....

  • thebrotherswaugh on August 31, 2012, 1:20 GMT

    Strauss will go down as a legend of ENG cricket, simply because he was at the helm when they won the Ashes twice in a row, home & away, against Oz. Regardless of all the spurious accolades heaped on him since his retirement, the fact remains, he was a slightly above-average batsmen who just happened to play 100 Tests. He struggled to score consistent runs vs. quality sides, and was hopeless against spin. Michael Vaughn was a far superior batsmen, and a much better captain. Cook was the obvious choice as his replacement, but ENG will continue their inevitable slide down the rankings table under him. Unlike the extremely fortunate Mr. Strauss, Cook has inherited a bog average (one of ya best, Hammond) cricket team. IND is looming in Nov, and the whole cricketing world knows that ENG are gonna cop an absolute thrashing in all formats over there. Better have those sports psychologists on the ready - they'll take up a good portion of the ECB's budget, I reckon. Hand over the Urn!!!!

  • Joninnorwich on August 31, 2012, 0:04 GMT

    Let's put this KP thing to bed once and for all. Great batsman, rubbish team player. Scores runs, kills team spirit. In any case, people always remember the cool stuff about KP; the switch hits, the 220 off 170 ball-type innings. But when he's out of form he's rubbish and when he's in form he often gives it away when he gets to 30. So kick him out, I say. Would love to see the selectors take a punt on both Bairstow and Root (and I don't support Yorkshire!).

    We have to go with Finn, would love to see Tremlett firing again and pleased for Alistair Cook who I think will be a fine captain. Finally, thank you Straussy. Poor sod became captain after a Pietersen spat and he's ended with one. Enjoy your golf!

  • on August 30, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    Strauss literally left the test team in shambles. Cook has his work cut out. he needs to find a new opening partner, a stable middle order. And if he wants to do all this before the India tour, then he needs to find batsmen besides himself and Trott who can actually play spin a bit. So, a lot of work for the new skipper.

  • pawaramol22 on August 30, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    yea right!! ...but whose?

  • subbass on August 30, 2012, 21:44 GMT

    We sure have no conveyor belt of batting talent. If they don't sort out the KP issue and get him back in the side, there is only one way we'll go and sadly that is down. :( Maybe it is time to realise we only have 4-5 players capable of playing Test cricket and start playing 5 bowlers. Be the strongest team this way, go for 6 batters with no KP and we will get bowled out cheaply time and time again.

    Having said that i think Cook will make an ok skipper, just that we will be no higher than 4th in any of the rankings this time nest year unless we change the side - 5 bowlers- or keep 4 bowlers and get KP back. We may even lose the Ashes which looked very unlikely not so long ago, if we continue to insist on 6 batters and 4 bowlers with no KP in that top 6 !

  • featurewriter on August 30, 2012, 21:14 GMT

    I agree with Vaughan. Go for an experienced opener. My money is on Compton. Young Joe Root may be a good future option, but right now, in the form he is in, I'd give the gig to Compton.

  • the_blue_android on August 30, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    We need to learn the exercise in obvious from Englishmen. What else would he say? Cook will be a very bad captain? For English fans, it will be soon like old times, 2 decades of torture after the 8 month 'era'.

  • MattyP1979 on August 30, 2012, 19:15 GMT

    Cook might indeed take this team forward but will certainly have a tough first few games. Opening partner will probably be Trott at first, as we will play 2 spinners in Ind. Strauss was never going to make big runs against Ind so this might actually prove to be a blessing in disguise. Have no idea what our first 11 will look like come Ind.

  • landl47 on August 30, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    Vaughan called Strauss selfless, a modern leader. "He is very self-deprecating, always looked out for others and the team before himself. That is what makes a good leader in this era, someone who really looks at the rest before he looks at himself. That is really good."

    I guess Vaughan just laid out why KP wasn't a good captain.

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  • landl47 on August 30, 2012, 18:36 GMT

    Vaughan called Strauss selfless, a modern leader. "He is very self-deprecating, always looked out for others and the team before himself. That is what makes a good leader in this era, someone who really looks at the rest before he looks at himself. That is really good."

    I guess Vaughan just laid out why KP wasn't a good captain.

  • MattyP1979 on August 30, 2012, 19:15 GMT

    Cook might indeed take this team forward but will certainly have a tough first few games. Opening partner will probably be Trott at first, as we will play 2 spinners in Ind. Strauss was never going to make big runs against Ind so this might actually prove to be a blessing in disguise. Have no idea what our first 11 will look like come Ind.

  • the_blue_android on August 30, 2012, 20:14 GMT

    We need to learn the exercise in obvious from Englishmen. What else would he say? Cook will be a very bad captain? For English fans, it will be soon like old times, 2 decades of torture after the 8 month 'era'.

  • featurewriter on August 30, 2012, 21:14 GMT

    I agree with Vaughan. Go for an experienced opener. My money is on Compton. Young Joe Root may be a good future option, but right now, in the form he is in, I'd give the gig to Compton.

  • subbass on August 30, 2012, 21:44 GMT

    We sure have no conveyor belt of batting talent. If they don't sort out the KP issue and get him back in the side, there is only one way we'll go and sadly that is down. :( Maybe it is time to realise we only have 4-5 players capable of playing Test cricket and start playing 5 bowlers. Be the strongest team this way, go for 6 batters with no KP and we will get bowled out cheaply time and time again.

    Having said that i think Cook will make an ok skipper, just that we will be no higher than 4th in any of the rankings this time nest year unless we change the side - 5 bowlers- or keep 4 bowlers and get KP back. We may even lose the Ashes which looked very unlikely not so long ago, if we continue to insist on 6 batters and 4 bowlers with no KP in that top 6 !

  • pawaramol22 on August 30, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    yea right!! ...but whose?

  • on August 30, 2012, 22:46 GMT

    Strauss literally left the test team in shambles. Cook has his work cut out. he needs to find a new opening partner, a stable middle order. And if he wants to do all this before the India tour, then he needs to find batsmen besides himself and Trott who can actually play spin a bit. So, a lot of work for the new skipper.

  • Joninnorwich on August 31, 2012, 0:04 GMT

    Let's put this KP thing to bed once and for all. Great batsman, rubbish team player. Scores runs, kills team spirit. In any case, people always remember the cool stuff about KP; the switch hits, the 220 off 170 ball-type innings. But when he's out of form he's rubbish and when he's in form he often gives it away when he gets to 30. So kick him out, I say. Would love to see the selectors take a punt on both Bairstow and Root (and I don't support Yorkshire!).

    We have to go with Finn, would love to see Tremlett firing again and pleased for Alistair Cook who I think will be a fine captain. Finally, thank you Straussy. Poor sod became captain after a Pietersen spat and he's ended with one. Enjoy your golf!

  • thebrotherswaugh on August 31, 2012, 1:20 GMT

    Strauss will go down as a legend of ENG cricket, simply because he was at the helm when they won the Ashes twice in a row, home & away, against Oz. Regardless of all the spurious accolades heaped on him since his retirement, the fact remains, he was a slightly above-average batsmen who just happened to play 100 Tests. He struggled to score consistent runs vs. quality sides, and was hopeless against spin. Michael Vaughn was a far superior batsmen, and a much better captain. Cook was the obvious choice as his replacement, but ENG will continue their inevitable slide down the rankings table under him. Unlike the extremely fortunate Mr. Strauss, Cook has inherited a bog average (one of ya best, Hammond) cricket team. IND is looming in Nov, and the whole cricketing world knows that ENG are gonna cop an absolute thrashing in all formats over there. Better have those sports psychologists on the ready - they'll take up a good portion of the ECB's budget, I reckon. Hand over the Urn!!!!

  • on August 31, 2012, 1:59 GMT

    Strauss! was an excellent player @ subcontinent. His batting style is perfect against spinners. Remember 2008 series he scored immense runs and also remember world cup against india where he scored massive 158. yes its definitely a big loss to england cricket team to find another solid opener.....