Former England spinner Graeme Swann isn’t happy with England’s persistence with Alastair Cook in ODI cricket. Criticizing Cook’s defensive and stubborn approach, Swann said, “Alastair Cook is the most stubborn man in this world. He has almost backed himself into a corner where he’s got to carry on. I don’t think we have got a cat in hell’s chance of winning the World Cup.”
It’s hard to disagree with Swann’s views here. Alastair Cook’s recent record in ODI cricket has been very poor. His defensive and unresponsive captaincy has also been under scrutiny. And, England’s persistence is frustrating.
Swann also criticised England’s “old-fashioned” approach.
“Some of the my best mates- Cook, Bell, Ballance- are not one day players who going to win you a World Cup. Alex Hales is going to win you a World Cup; James Vince, Jason Roy, Jos Buttler, Eoin Morgan.”
Swann’s criticism stands correct to a great extent. England’s selection policy in the ODI format has been bizarre. Ravi Bopara has been a good performer for England off late, and his omission from the series against India is a very bizarre decision. Bopara adds so much more balance to the squad with his all-round abilities- batting, bowling and he’s brilliant fielder, too.
Talking about Alex Hales, who’s been a star performer in the T20 formant, Swann said, “Alex scored 99 in a T20 against West Indies at Trent Bridge in 2012- how the powers that be didn’t see him as the future in ODI cricket…”
This is again a very valid point by Swann. Many cricket pundits have endorsed Hales’s inclusion in the ODI squad, but English selectors, for some bizarre reason only known to them, have ignored him time and again.
England’s approach towards ODIs have been very stubborn and despite of having some genuine match-winners, they have shown trust in old-fashioned cricketers like Bell and Cook. In my opinion, Cook, Bell and Ballance at 1,2 and 3 respectively, is a very defensive move and as Swann said, it’s almost impossible to win the World Cup with this defensive line-up
by The Cricket Lounge
Swann’s quotes’ source- ESPNCRICINFO