“In modern-day cricket, Alastair Cook is becoming a phenomenon as the captain. He’s taking those bold steps which are unthinkable for the others and that’s where Cook is becoming enigmatic and unique. With the progression of time, Cook is becoming the Renaissance of modern English cricket”
The first Test at Ahmadabad had been the reflection of England’s recent turmoil in Test cricket. On the field, they lacked intensity while off the field they were engaged with unnecessary chaos. The English ship was traveling through a troubled sea and while that ship was crossing through the Indian oceans, the waves went wild, the wind blew strong – rank turners, unprepared tracks, and spin wizards were making the sea fearsome enough to devour the English ship.
But the captain of that English ship decided to challenge the angry waves and hostile wind of the Indian Ocean with a resolute and composed manner. He didn’t give any big speech to his men; he didn’t heat up the media but let his deeds do the talking to inspire his men to combat the hostility of the Indian Ocean.
In Mumbai, it had been a drastic situation for the Englishmen. A victory was much needed to lift the dying English spirit and Alastair Cook, the newly appointed English captain, dug in, summoned his inner reserves, and spilled assurance to the England batting which was down and dusted a week ago in Ahmadabad. And when the captain is in no mood to accept defeat then how can his men accept the same? The English sailors responded to Captain Cook’s leading-from-the-front-show and sunk India in the Indian Ocean – KP’s egoistic batting boomed, Panesar and Swann spun the web of spin to leave India baffled.
Cook’s intensity is the same in Kolkata. His batting remains a thorn in India’s throat as an old fashioned batting approach dented the Indian bowlers to take the honours for England on day 2. Another patient and composed ton came up and thus records continued to tumble for Cook.
He has now the most runs by an England captain on an Indian tour since Ted Dexter. He now has the most Test hundreds by an Englishman and it has also been his fifth Test hundred in his five Tests as captain. And mind you, he’s just 26.
One of the greatest qualities of Cook’s batting is his sense of adjustment to the nature of the wicket. Whether it’s a turning track or a track with uneven bounce, Cook adjusts to it very quickly to defy the odds. At the crease, he’s just like a monk – even an atom bomb can’t deter him from his goal. In an era, when adventurous batsmanship has become a tradition, Cook is more like a purist of the coaching manual – watchful, resistant, gritty; full of concentration, and occupation at the crease are the spices that make up Cook’s batting mantra.
For the English team, Cook is the lighthouse. One of Cook’s biggest contribution as a captain for England is the development of a certain resolve within the team which was much needed apart from skill. He sewed that seed of resolve in Ahmadabad which bore fruit in Mumbai and he is carrying on that legacy in Kolkata. Cook kept on pushing himself beyond the limits with an astute resolution which laid the foundations for the maverick, the Sardar, the White Swan, and the speed star to sing a song.
In modern-day cricket, Alastair Cook is becoming a phenomenon as the captain. He’s taking those bold steps which are unthinkable for the others and that’s where Cook is becoming enigmatic and unique. With the progression of time, Cook is becoming the Renaissance of modern English cricket.