Alastair Cook makes England captaincy vow on eve of India series

17:55 14 November 2012

England captain Alastair Cook speaks during a press conference at Lord

England captain Alastair Cook speaks during a press conference at Lord's Cricket Ground, London. Photo credit: Dominic Lipinski/PA Wire

Alastair Cook is determined to be true to himself when he takes on the biggest job of his life tomorrow, that of England Test captain.

Cook’s challenges are manifold as England seek to confound most expectations by winning a series in India for the first time in almost 30 years.

He must lead from the front to try to ensure requisite totals, in a taxing and alien environment.

He must select and deploy his bowlers to take 20 wickets, and of course, there is the Kevin Pietersen conundrum - how will he man-manage England’s most talented batsman on his return after a summer of vexation and estrangement?

Cook has already addressed all these issues publicly, on a tour already three weeks old since England set off for India, via Dubai.

But tomorrow, in the first of four Tests in Ahmedabad, his actions will have to speak louder than all those press-conference pronouncements.

Today he attended one last audition, at which he made it clear he will do it his way as he embarks on his Test tenure, having succeeded Andrew Strauss three months ago.

Cook, who is yet to lead his country on a permanent basis in his new guise, said: “I’m just going to try to do the best job I can, for however long I’m lucky enough to do it.

“You can’t change who you are, the type of bloke you are, and you’ve got to be authentic to who you are.”

He knows, through common sense and personal experience as England’s one-day international captain, that there are adjustments to be made once you find yourself in charge.

“It clearly does change things in the dressing room,” he added.

“When you’re in a position of responsibility you think about things in a slightly different way and have different things on your agenda.

“But I hope I don’t change.

“I feel a mixture of everything. Obviously, I’m a bit excited about what’s going to happen, and a little bit nervous, but the overwhelming emotion is that I am very proud to be leading England.”

Cook is fortunate to have reliable, familiar and expert allies at his side in team director Andy Flower and batting coach Graham Gooch.

The 27-year-old knows both very well from his formative years at Essex, and Flower in particular has rarely been far away as his and Cook’s career paths have neatly intertwined.

The novice Test captain is clearly grateful to have Flower on his side, adding: “One of his best qualities is he’s very, very strong-willed and knows what he wants.”

“The players are conscious that there are no grey areas.”

Related articles

Sign up for our news alerts today!

Our editors' picks for the day's top news delivered to your inbox or phone.

Sign up for email alerts Sign up for mobile alerts
1
2 3 4 5 6
7

What is this?

Near You Now

Don't Miss...

Competitions

Get your hands on some fresh trainers!

Need some new shoes to head to work or some new heels for a night on the cobbles? London24 has teamed up with online retailer Sole Trader to offer £100 worth of shoes to one lucky reader.

Read more
Take in the stunning sites of London from the summit of the O2!

Up at The O2 has teamed up with London24 to give one lucky reader the chance to experience urban mountaineering this summer with an exhilarating 90-minute climb across the roof of one of London’s most iconic landmarks.

Read more
Terrific tea, creamy cakes and splendid sandwiches at Mews of Mayfair.

Celebrate a truly quintessentially British tradition with the chance of winning a luxurious Afternoon Tea for two people at Mews of Mayfair, complete with a glass of Veuve Clicquot champagne.

Read more