By Gregory Taylor
So at long last the England Cricket team are starting to play well, but like most sports, one good result does not mean that England are back on track.
It’s great that both Ian Bell and Alistair Cook did well and the new boys Jos Buttler and Gary Ballance put in a good shift, but there is still a lot of hard work to be done. Before people start saying critics of Cook got it wrong in calling for him to stand down, this is only one game. Cook needs to prove himself over the next couple of games.
I think he is on the right track and if he can win at Old Trafford we could see Cook reclaim his rightful place as England’s revered captain, but it won’t be easy. I still feel that although he is back on par he should still take the winter off and handover the captain role to Eion Morgan. I would even go as far as to give Morgan the test side captains role for the West Indies tour in April and for when New Zealand play England next year before the Ashes. This would give Cook the time off he needs and allow him to play some county cricket for Essex and to give him a real rest so that he is ready for the Ashes next year and then for the winter of 2015/2016 as England play test matches against Pakistan and South Africa.
One of the problems that international players like Cook have is that they play a lot of cricket over a short amount of time. England played five test matches in summer against Australia before leaving to play another five test matches in Australia. Not only that, but the test matches themselves where mostly back to back with the last test against Australia being played just after the New Year, this was then followed by several ODI and T20 cricket matches against the Australians. Now I’m a huge test match cricket fan and I believe that you can’t be great cricket player until you have mastered test cricket, but the short amount of time between each game, sometimes only a few days, doesn’t give the players a good rest and chance to re-evaluate the last game.
Cook might be doing well again but one good game doesn’t mean he’s out of the water just yet, he still has got a lot to prove and I think the next two games will make or break him.