When I wrote my rather critical profile of Alastair Cook last week, I mentioned at the end that I would be only too happy to be proved wrong and write an apology to Cook at the end of the series, should it go well for him.
Well I’m going early, I don’t think there is any need to wait any longer. I’ve just about recovered from the shock of the last two days and the embarrassment of how stupid you can be made to look over something you have written (or most of what I have written lately). So here goes,
I’m really sorry Alastair for claiming that you are nothing more than a flat track bully who only scores big runs against Windies and Bangladesh.
I’m also sorry for claiming that you talk a better game than you actually play, and that the only reason you have not been dropped lately is because you are the captain in waiting.
With regard to the odds on you being top English series run scorer, I’m sorry for saying that I wouldn’t touch the 6/1 on offer with a barge poll.
I’m also sorry for myself for not taking the 6/1 on offer for you being top English batsman, but never mind, I’m used to making balls ups like that.
And I’m sorry for thinking that you would score less than the 302 runs you scored at Brisbane, over the course of the whole series.
I wasn’t the only one either, I saw a spread bet last week that had Cook down to only score between 260 and 280 runs in the whole series.
It was a remarkable innings. I don’t think I have ever seen Cook go out and play with such positive intent as he did in the 2nd innings here. His century against Pakistan was positive by previous standards, but this surpassed that innings by a mile.
Hopefully this is just the start for Cook and he can now go on and score plenty more runs. If he dosen’t have the self belief now, he never will.
It was also pleasing to see Jonathan Trott get rewarded for his good year by climbing to 8th in the test batting rankings. It’s strange to think he looked the most vulnerable batsman after the tour of South Africa last year.
I still see Trott as the man to really get under the Aussie’s skin during this series.
And a mention too for Jimmy Anderson. He is another one whom I wasn’t totally convinced by coming into this series. I thought he bowled brilliantly in this test match, the spell he bowled at Hussey and Haddin on the 3rd morning was as good a spell of bowling I have watched for a long time.
How he never made the breakthrough, only Aleem Dar knows!
Maybe I need to put the boot into Paul Collingwood now, then he will probably score a century as well.
Don’t apologise Dean, he will do nothing for the whole of the rest of the series.
Shame on Australia for letting this guy make a double. I would commit suicide if I were them.
He’s only gone and secured his place in the side for the next 10 years. Doesn’t loo like Carberry or anyone else will get a sniff.
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I know what you mean Stani, I did think about writing that is probably his series runs scored in one game, but I’m going to give him some praise (for once).
The pitch obviously improved, but Cook has chucked his wicket away on better pitches than that in the past and against worse attacks.
I just hope he keeps it going.
I agree, Carberry can forget it.
I think the ‘praise’ here is a bit too grudging, and I wish I could forecast the future with as much certainty as the bloke at the top. If I could, I’d take up betting!
Look in the book. You don’t make over four and a half thousand Test runs, at an average of 45, with 14 centuries, top score 235*, before your 26th birthday, if you can’t bat. Simple as that.
Cook isn’t very stylish, he isn’t very fluent, he’s had plenty of form troughs. But he has plenty of talent and the type of mental strength with which players such as Hick or Ramprakash might have done a bit better at the highest level.
Some of you may take the view that making that many runs at Test level is easy, and anyone – even someone like Cook – can do it.
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Brian, the stats don’t lie and you’re right he has achieved a lot before his 26th birthday, he has also played a lot of games for a man of his age and 45 is no world beating average.
If he’s averaging around 50 in 12 months time then fair enough, I’d call that a real achievement.
I have never said he can’t bat. What I’ve said is that he has led a very charmed life in the England side and he is very lucky not to have been dropped at some stage over the last 2-3 years.
Maybe that is because no one has kicked the door down to get in the side, I don’t know. If the players aren’t there, then you can’t pick them.
I’ve also stated that he has filled his boots against West Indies and Bangladesh during that time, but they are part of test cricket and thats fair enough. Over the years though, I have judged a player on how he performs against the top sides, mainly (up until recently) Australia.
The likes of Flintoff and Kevin Pietersen have an average against Australia that matches their overall averages, they didn’t/don’t rely on a series against Bangladesh to boost their averages. Before the Gabba, Cook’s record against Oz was nothing special.
I’ve wrote on this blog before that Andy Flower prefers temperament over stylish stroke players and I don’t have a problem with that. Cook fits that bill and good luck too him.
Of course you didn’t say he coudn’t bat, Dean, and all the points you make are right.
I was really reacting to the first comment, which tended to imply that the commenter had a pretty low opinion of him.
That average has gone up a notch or two overnight, hasn’t it? Mind you, not exactly a threatening attack…
Cricket Betting Blog
Your right there Brian and his tour average must be out of this world at the moment. He and Jimmy Anderson are both probably in the form of their careers at the moment.
Cook can’t really do more than he currently is. He has now shown that the Gabba wasn’t just a flash in the pan performance, he has backed it up.
Yes, I’ve seen better bowling, but I’ve seen Cook struggle and throw his wicket away against far worse attacks than this one. That was really what formed part of my criticism of him in the past.
I suppose to sum him up before this tour would be to say, he has done ok without setting the world on fire, but could and should have done a lot better – like he currently is doing.
This just sums it up though, he is good enough, so where have these types of (consistent) performances been for the past 2 years?
Everyone goes through a rough trot. I just find it strange (and a bit out of order) that Pietersen and Bell get hung out by the selectors, but Cook didn’t.
Maybe my gripe is more to do with the seemingly one rule for one, and one rule for another policy. But the selectors have done a great job over the past 18-24 months, although it could be said that coincides with the appearence of Andy Flower.