Alastair Cook, England cricket, England vs India, Sanya Michelangelo
England made two changes, Ravi Bopara and Samit Patel came in for Jonathan Trott and Eoin Morgan (injured). Jonathan Trott was dropped because the game was reduced to 23 overs per side as rain delayed the start. The game began at 7 pm local time. It was pretty much a Twenty20 and England's side was well suited to it. England had 5 bowlers (Broad, Anderson, Dernbach, Swann and Bresnan) and 2 all-rounders (Bopara, Patel). None of the batsmen were reliable. The captain, Alastair Cook, doesn't even have a place in England's Twenty20 side. But Cook has always had the potential to be a good one-day and Twenty20 player.
Tuesday was no different to how this tour has been. India have been exposed. Such disastrous tours are rare for any team, and especially for a side like India. If not Tests, we expected more from India in the shorter formats at least. Indian fans are reading too much into the 1st one-day but a win can never be guaranteed. If the 2nd one-day would also be washed out after the Indian innings, I'm sure Indian fans would say the same. 187 is considered a pretty good score in Twenty20s but England had no trouble chasing it. Alastair Cook, who has been the run machine for a year, carried his form into the shorter format by finishing on 80*. Kieswetter provided a perfect start. One disappointment was Ian Bell's innings. His 25 off 16 were no doubt useful and elegant, his dismissal was a replay of most of his innings. How often have we seen Ian Bell getting caught at cover before 50? It's a classic Bell dismissal following the most stylish batting.
Nasser Hussain fancies Alastair Cook as captain in all three format and I am not completely against the idea. England seems to be doing well at the moment but the three captain theory is certainly a controversial one. Strauss has already retired from one-day and Twenty20s so the day when he quits Tests may not be far. Though given how good of a batsman he is, hopefully he continues for some time. It might seem like captaining all three sides will put too much pressure on young Cook's shoulder but let's not forget, whenever he has been handed responsibility, he has delivered. When his Test place was under threat, he scored more runs than anyone else in the Ashes. He has responded well to captaincy too. Stuart Broad is yet to convince us about his captaincy. If a team has the same captain in all formats, the captain has a bigger platform to practice his captaincy. Not all can handle this, but if someone can, he can learn more about captaincy and sooner than only a one-format captain would.
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