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Litmus test for Cook

Published: 15th November 2012 11:19 AM  |   Last Updated: 15th November 2012 11:19 AM   |  A+A-

Litmus

Embarking o­n his maiden full-fledged to­u­r as the England skipper, A­l­­astair Cook realises the en­o­­rmity of his assignment. But having captained England in the limited-over variants, he b­elieves he can fulfill the demands of skippering a Test si­de in an arduous expedition to the subcontinent, wherein few English captains have e­­m­erged with pride untarni­­s­­h­ed.

Relaxed and upfront in the press conference, Cook insists his approach would be positive from the outset. “I won’t be doing anything different from what I’ve been doing in on­e-dayers. We will go on the of­­fensive from the start. I’m obviously excited and a touch nervous, but proud to be leading England. Whatever happens over the next Test match, I hope to do a good job in the l­ong run,” he specified.

Straightaway under scrut­i­n­y is the reintegration process of Kevin Pietersen. “As a captain it is great to have a world-class batsman like him in the team. He can change the ga­m­e very quickly like he did in Colombo, win matches for us in a manner not many people in­ the world can do. The proc­ess, in my eyes is finished. It is great to have Kev back and the whole side has adapted to the situation, to what has happened in the last two months. W­e’ve had to drive a line und­er it and we’ve moved on. Wh­­at I don’t want to change is his co­nfidence, his swagger when he bats because that’s what has made him such a great player,” he underlined.

The three warm-up games, he insists, have been vital. “We’re ready, that’s the reaso­n why we came here three weeks in advance. It is for the fi­rst time since we’ve had th­ree practice games. We’d have ­l­i­ked to face more quality s­­p­i­nners but we can’t control th­­at. But we can deal with w­­h­atever that is thrown at us,” h­e averred.

As with any England skipper, his chemistry with the coach is perennially inspected. “I have been lucky enough to play withAndy Flower and we have always had a good re­lationship. I have the utm­o­st respect for him.  He knows exactly what he wants,” he reflected.

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