And the search continues…………
If Alastair Cook were an Indian, his mom would, in all probability, sit around a group of aunties, sipping on hot tea while complaining about how the stars aren’t aligned right for him these days. Studious, excellent in what he does and a calm, composed personality, Cook is an ideal groom in every single way. Yet, finding a bride for him has been a menace for “shaadi dalaals” (wedding brokers).
Ed Smith, the new broker in business, has brought in a sturdy proposal of a foreign brought up bride whose family is pretty well known in cricketing circles. Keaton Jennings, though, hasn’t fit the bill. With 417 runs in 10 matches, the southpaw has teased to impress without really revealing his (her) inner talents.
Cut out a rather ordinary fling with Jos Buttler (a single innings in Dubai when he was chosen as Cook’s partner in a run chase of 99) and Cook has had 12 wedding proposals since his divorce after a rather successful marriage with Andrew Strauss, whose role in this epic television drama is labyrinthine when you consider his promotion to the role of Director of England cricket.
But with a vehement ‘no strings attached’ policy towards players, Strauss has cleaned up the limited-overs team and made England an aggressive, forward-thinking bunch of swashbuckling individuals. In the process though, he has perhaps dished out a step-motherly treatment to his ex, Alastair Cook.
The struggle to find a right match with a perfect horoscope for Cook has been nightmarish to say the least. 12 of them have come and gone but each have had their share of difficulties. Compare their characteristics to the zodiac signs and you get a better idea of what the shaadi dalaals have been going through.
Alex Hales – Aries
Adventurous and courageous, the impulsive zodiac sign has every quality sought for in a modern day partner. Like the Aries sign, Hales can get a touch overconfident once he settles in and this has brought about his downfall. Despite his overwhelming confidence and bond with the family in the limited-overs circuit, Cook isn’t party to Hales’ extravagant ways and the positive-negative combination hasn’t worked wonders here. It was worthwhile as long as it lasted (it lasted pretty long when you consider the duration of Cook’s other relationships) but there were clear signs of it ending way before it eventually did.
Keaton Jennings – Taurus
A thing of style and beauty, Jennings was in every way a perfect bride to Cook on paper. Elegant and classy when on fire, Jennings has it in him to impress the family and seal the coveted spot for a while at the least. However, he hasn’t quite been able to do it. Jennings has teased to impress, most recently at Edgbaston in the first innings when he spent enough time with Cook to create an understanding. That, though, did not materialise into a blossoming second date. After four further dates this month, the relationship is on the verge of cracking and Jennings has no one but himself to blame.
Nick Compton – Gemini
They say Gemenians are hard to forget and Compton was definitely one of them. With a stronghold in the family courtesy of his grandfather (Denis Compton), Nick had everything aligned in his favour. He was brash and strong-willed with an enviable temperament, most evident when he stood like a rock to salvage Cook’s family stuck in a crisis on an Asian adventure. While he was thought to have stamped down his place in the side with a ton at Dunedin against the Black Caps, the sudden idea from some parsimonious uncle to arrange a bride for Cook from within the family (the boyish Joe Root was flaunted as Cook’s would-be before the extended family in the Ashes cultural festival) saw the axe fall on Compton.
Haseeb Hameed – Cancer
Cautious, sentimental if you will, Hameed was in every way protective of Cook and showcased enough care and affection while his partner was on duty in India. Cancer, though, is an emotional sign and Hameed is no different. Cook’s family’s sudden preference for Keaton Jennings when Hameed was out sick, apparently left an indelible mark on the composed opener whose popularity and charm, which attained great attention in India, have fallen over the precipice and into the chasm below in recent times.
Michael Carberry – Leo
Brave, outgoing and dominating, Carberry was in several ways a great jodi for Cook’s serenity and elegance. An opener of panache and flair, Carberry was thought to be the real deal until Mitchell Johnson (the family enemy) swooped in from around-the-wicket and into the family living hall to create chaos. There was a clear lack of alternatives at the time but even that didn’t prevent the family from parting ways with Carberry.
Joe Root – Virgo
The gorgeous second-cousin, Joe Root was the apple of the eye in the family but no one really had pitched the idea of putting together the two popular members of the family until a need to show off in front of the extended family (the Aussies) arose. Root was silken, cloaked in glory and an impeccable star. A purist like Virgo, Root’s aura blinded several of the family from considering the consequences of such an alliance. His forte lay elsewhere and despite a what-could-have-been feeling lingering, Root has moved on, most likely forever.
Mark Stoneman – Libra
Reliable and steady, Stoneman was like a last gasp safety option for the Cook family. Like the people of Libra are known to be, Stoneman is aloof and fails to express himself most of the time. But those aren’t qualities that eliminate a candidate in a last-ditch swayamvara. He was pleasing, stuck to his methods and nearly managed to bring the family to his side. Even if it was a rather long stint in comparison to the others, the onus on finding more outstanding partners meant Stoneman’s time was out.
Adam Lyth – Scorpio
The domestic giant he is, Lyth was supposed to sweep Cook and his family off their feet. Passionate with a magnetic attraction, Lyth was a Scorpio in more ways than one. His market in matrimonial circuits gained rapid growth after he completed a Championship challenge in 2014 with Yorkshire. Naturally, it attracted the attention of the Cooks who believed he would form the dream partner to their pristine son. Sadly, it didn’t quite work out that way with Lyth failing miserably in front of the extended family (the Aussies) during the cultural celebrations (the Ashes).
Jonathan Trott – Sagittarius
A picture perfect bride, Trott was deemed to be a misfit in this bride-hunt despite him being a part of the family. Widely known for his skill and experience, Trott, like a true Sagittarian, was philosophical and optimistic. The stint was short-lived, though, as the family recognised he was better off left free to do what he does best.
Sam Robson – Capricorn
Practical and ambitious, Robson was a Capricorn who could have turned into the much-sought-after perfect match to Cook. He flopped in his first attempt to impress the family but soon made amends with a spectacular hundred in his second outing. There were rumours going around about the ability of Robson to take it all the way but it came walloping down after a dreadful few months, the end of which saw the family opt for the glam of Lyth.
Moeen Ali – Aquarius
Another family member, Ali was a bit difficult to comprehend like most Aquarians. Original in thought and approach like an ardent Aquarian, Ali fit the bill on paper given that his side-business (spin bowling) was earning rave reviews within and outside the family. After three forgettable outings, the idea was dumped once and for all, though he still remains a part of the family in some capacity.
Ben Duckett – Pisces
A fling like no other, Cook’s alleged affection towards the brunette, Ben Duckett, never lasted long enough to interest the family. Duckett’s obvious shortcomings made the task of moving on easier. That he was carried on two family picnics to the Asian sub-continent perhaps worked against Duckett but with glaring issues, him parting ways with Cook was a given.
The eternal search for a perfect bride continues with the incumbent, Keaton Jennings, on shaky grounds. A few names from within family circles – Nick Gubbins and Rory Burns prominent among them – are doing the rounds and it is no secret that Cook and his family aren’t too pleased with Jennings. One of the two waiting in the wings could be called upon priority basis if the Jennings – Cook break-up happens over a Sunday family together.