Alastair Cook is the England captain, and a phenomenal batsman, but the captaincy that he has been saddled with is crushing the team, and him, and its too heavy a price to pay any longer, especially when he just isn’t that special with captaincy.
He is currently being held to ransom. Unable to escape due to the criticism he would come under for shelling it, Cook is waiting for someone to pull the trigger. Cook is putting on a brave face. He is trying to improve his captaincy.
He is trying to cope. But, like an injured animal that tries to get back up; he is just not able too.
One could understand persevering with Alastair Cook as a captain if he was Mike Brearley. But he isn’t. In holding captaincy across Tests and ODI teams, he is placing so much unwarranted pressure on his batting, that it is causing him to fail.
He is holding his primary attribute (his batting) hostage.
As the captaincy causes him to buckle under pressure in the middle, his runs have dried up due to his mind being elsewhere.
As his runs dry up, he can no longer justify his place alone on runs, and in a horribly dynamic fashion, his captaincy comes under even more pressure as a result.
Yet, even through bad form, the talk is not really about dropping him. It is about getting the old Cook back.
As Test captain, his runs have remained broadly the same as a captain, and as not captain; as he averages around 45. It’s very steady. Taking the captaincy away, may help his batting by allowing him to refocus.
But, the statistics would suggest he can probably do it both ways. Removing the captaincy would be done more to assist the team’s handling, than Cook’s form.
He is a world class player, and needs no lectures on how to bat.
As ODI Captain, he has scored 4 out of his 5 hundreds as captain, albeit not for two years has he actually produced one.
Unfortunately, these runs are in vain, when one considers that In the last two years, both his form has slowly deteriorated, and the team has suffered as his morale has been projected onto the overall unit.
In Tests, since the start of 2013, he has averaged around 33 for both 2013 and 2014, and has just 9 fifties and 2 centuries to his name. In terms of his personal record, it is pedestrian.
As Cook has dropped off, so have England, winning just eight out of their 22 Tests since the start of 2013. Not for one second would I suggest that his bad form is the reason for England’s. There are many many factors as to why; but it certainly would help to have a rock solid opener at the top of the order, that isn’t perpetually thinking about the pressure he is under due to external factors.
In the coloured kit, he has scored just over 900 runs in the last two years in ODI cricket, with just six fifties in 35 innings.
Similarly to the Test arena, just 19 out of 45 ODIs have been won under Cook since the start of 2013, with just 3 wins in 2014.
Cook is like a really valuable ornament, that is currently being used as a doorstop. A valuable ornament would probably make quite a good doorstop, provided it was heavy.
But, nobody in their right mind would place such a valuable piece in such a potentially damaging position.
Alastair Cook needs to be protected for his primary role. Batting. He is not a dreadful captain, but it is certainly not worth jeopardising his primary attribute for his secondary attribute.
Let’s get him out before it’s too late, especially in One Day cricket. Please.