When a 22 year old Englishman started his career on a difficult pitch in Nagpur, 2006, he won everybody’s heart by scoring a patient century and showed that Indian pitches can be conquered if one has the determination. 8 years followed, and now the same Englishman (now 30 years old) is on the verge of not only losing his captaincy but also his place in the English side. The Englishman who has made his way into the most wanted list is none other than the captain- Alastair Cook.
At one stage of his stellar career, he was in a bid to challenge Sachin Tendulkar’s holy spot in the highest run-scorer list. It was said that he has to be consistent in doing so and this is where he has lost the race- Being Consistent!
His last century came 22 innings back at Headingly where he is currently playing the 2nd test against Sri Lanka. But this time, he again failed in both the innings, which will keep him surrounded with lots of criticism ahead of the vital test series against India, this coming July. He would like to revive the golden days back during that important test series.
The golden days were those when the England captain single handedly helped England conquer India after 26 years. The golden days were those when runs flowed like a gigantic river from Cook’s bat in Australia (2010-11) and helped England to conquer Australia after 24 years. These were the golden days which not only Cook but also the England Team Management would like to relish again.
There were days when the left hander took the crease and would go back to pavilion after destroying the opposition. But now when he takes guard, it’s just a matter of time when he goes back to the pavilion with his head down. Indeed, a Great Great Fall!
ECB has suffered huge blows after the sudden retirement of Jonathan Trott and having been the culprit in ending the career of Kevin Pieterson. And now as Alastair Cook is struggling with his batting, the selectors would want him to come back in form as fast as possible.
Great players are those who come out of such bad forms. Sachin Tendulkar has also been a victim of it but he did his best to leave the bad days back and again oozed with confidence for the remainder of his career. That’s what is expected of Alastair Cook. He needs just one inning to come back in form and who knows, he gets that opportunity in the upcoming test series against India. He has a great record against India, both at home and overseas. So perhaps, that series will be the final chance of Cook to show his mettle with the bat.
For the 5-match test series, it’s important for England that Alastair Cook lead the team from the front because once he begins converting the starts into big ones, there’s hardly anyone who can stop him then. There will be minimal pressure on the young England middle order which is currently put to test because of the Left-hander’s bad run.
So from 2010 to present, Cook’s career has been going downhill and as the big test series is coming up, he would like to up the ante and change his career graph which has currently taken a tremendous downward spiral!