Alistair Cook has a role in England ODI team

November 4, 2008 at 2:25 pm 1 comment

cookAlistair Cook has been a regular squad member of the England one-day international squad since his debut on June 2006 against Sri Lanka. Recently he has attracted criticism from those who believe he is too slow for International one-day cricket and doesn’t warrant his position in the team. The argument that he is too slow for International cricket is a far one; a strike rate of just 68.07 just doesn’t exist in current ODI cricket.

However, I believe he still has a lot to offer the England one-day team. Every time I see him in action for England, he reminds me of one of the greatest ODI players of the modern era, Kumar Sangakarra. Sangakarra has become an Established member of the Sri Lankan ODI team, with 230 caps to his name. He was a cricketer whose inclusion in the Sri Lanka team was criticised because of his low strike rate, but this has worked for him and he has now become the player of the Sri Lanka team who holds the innings together coming in at no.3. This is a role that I think Cook could do himself successfully; he bats with measure and calm, and avoids the unnecessary risk. He isn’t a player who will hit over the top, indicated by the fact that he has scored just a single 6 in his professional career, but his stroke play is one of the better within the England camp. What Sangakarra had around him were the big hitters to up the run rate while Sangakarra stood his ground and aimed to just keep the scoreboard ticking. Cook has this, with the likes of Kevin Pietersen, Andrew Flintoff, Matt Prior, Owais Shah, Paul Collingwood and Luke Wright providing the big hitting. Sangakarra himself is capable of upping the run rate with aggressive running and measured hitting. These are skills which Cook at the age of 23 is starting to pick up. A look at the statistics shows similarities between the two players.

Sangakarra vs Cook ODI statistics

  Sangakarra Cook
 ODI innings  213  22
 Runs  6777 691 
 Average  35.66 31.40
 Strike rate  74.42 68.07 
 4s  679  76
 6s  29  0
 Average 4s  3.19  3.45
 Average 6s  0.14  0.00
 50s/100s  42/10 3/1 

The statistics illustrate the similarities between the two players and suggest that Cook has the potential to be better than or as good as Kumar Sangakarra. Cook’s individual scores for England are good and he has hit some important runs for England. In 2 ODI series, Cook has finished as England’s highest run scorer. In the difficult away ODI series win agianst Sri Lanka and the away ODI series defeat agianst New Zealand. His individual scores can be found here.

ODI Series Figures
vs Sri Lanka (Away)  
Innings 2
Runs 80
Average 40.00
Strike rate 89.28
vs New Zealand (Away)  
Innings 3
Runs 66
Average 22.00
Strike rate 69.17
vs New Zealand (Home)  
Innings 6
Runs 128
Average 30.33
Strike rate 75.51
ODI Series Figures
vs Sri Lanka (Away)  
Innings 5
Runs 155
Average 31.00
Strike rate 47.61
vs New Zealand (Away)  
Innings 6
Runs 184
Average 36.80
Strike rate 66.42
vs New Zealand (Home)  
Innings 1
Runs 24
Average 24.00
Strike rate 63.15

Entry filed under: Cook, County cricket, Cricket, England, ODI, Twenty20.

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1 Comment Add your own

  • 1. Trescothick  |  November 5, 2008 at 10:19 am

    I agree that he could be a good opener for enlgand in the future but he doesn’t have the range of shots that Trescothick possessed. It is unlikely we will see Cook as the current partnership looks like one that England are willing to persevere with


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